Most common mental health problems are eligible to receive treatment under the Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative introduced in November 2006.
Following assessment and referral by a GP, patients can access up to 10 Medicare rebates for individual sessions with a clinical psychologist in a 12 month period. Patients can also access an additional 10 Medicare rebates for group sessions.
Our clinicians are registered with Medicare. The Medicare rebate covers much of the session cost making it even more affordable for your patients to receive the psychological treatment and care they need.
What does the GP need to do?
a. Form the view that the patient is experiencing an eligible disorder and would benefit from a structured approach to treatment
b. Complete a GP Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP)
- GP Claim Item Number 2710 – $150 rebate
- The referral (2710) is valid for 2 years from the date of referral
- There is no set format for this however there are some minimum requirements.
c. Make a referral to a clinical psychologist
The referral must be written, signed and dated but there is no set format. It may be helpful to include part or all of the GP Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) as part of the referral. This initial referral will enable the patient to receive Medicare rebates for their first six sessions with the clinical psychologist.
d. Review progress against the identified goals by conducting a GP Mental Health Care Review (GP Claim Item Number 2712 – $100).
This is usually conducted after the patient has received their first six sessions with a clinical psychologist. The Mind Harmony clinical psychologist will send a progress report to assist you in your review. Based on your review any required adjustments to the GP Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) can be made. Following this the patient can continue their next six sessions with the clinical psychologist.
Medicare Mental Health Care Item Numbers
- 2710 – Preparation of MHCP (Valid for 2 years – 2nd anniversary of inception)
- 2712 – Review of MHCP
- 2713 – GP Mental Health Care Consultation
- 291 – Referred patient Assessment and Management Plan
- 293 – Review of Management Plan
- 296 – Initial Consultation, New Patient
- 104 – 109 – Specialist paediatrician
- 110 – 131 – Consultant paediatrician
All patients with a mental disorder, including with comorbidity, are eligible to receive treatment under the Better Access scheme. A mental disorder is defined as a clinically diagnosable disorder that significantly interferes with an individual’s cognitive, emotional or social abilities and includes the following:
- Chronic psychotic disorder
- Acute psychotic disorders
- Bipolar disorders
- Phobic disorders
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder
- Adjustment disorders
Unexplained somatic complaints
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Bereavement disorders
- Post traumatic stress disorders
- Eating disorders
- Panic disorders
- Mixed anxiety and depression
- Dissociative (conversion) disorder
- Mental Disorder NOS
- Sleep problems
- Hyperkinetic (Attention deficit) disorders
- Alcohol use disorders
- Drug use disorders
- Sexual disorders
- Enuresis (non organic)
Structure of Treatment
Treatment is provided in sets of up to 6 + 6 sessions. An additional set of 6 sessions may be claimed in exceptional circumstances following a second review (2712) but this is only applicable for individual services, not group sessions. To access the exceptional circumstances provisions, the patients treatment should have fundamentally changed during the course of treatment. The GP needs only to perform a second review session (2712) and make notes of the cause of the exceptional circumstances in the patients notes and advise the provider of the existence of the exceptional circumstance so that receipts can be correctly annotated.
Reporting Requirements for Mental Health Care Providers
At the end of the 5th and 10th session OR on completion of the course of treatment, the clinical psychologist must provide a written report to the referring medical practitioner. The written report should include information on:
- Assessments carried out on the patient
- Treatment provided
- Recommendations on future management of the patient’s disorder