*Note: Information contained on this page is sourced from Medicare Australia Website and Australian Psychological Society

What mental health problems can be treated under the Better Access initiative?
‘Mental disorder’ is a term used to describe a range of clinically diagnosable disorders that significantly impact on a person’s emotions, thoughts, social skills and decision-making. The Better Access initiative covers people with mental disorders arising from:

  • Psychotic disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Phobic disorders
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Adjustment disorder
  • Depression
  • Sexual disorders
  • Conduct disorder
  • Bereavement disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Panic disorder
  • Alcohol use disorders
  • Drug use disorders
  • Sleep problems
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Co-occurring anxiety and depression

How many sessions can a patient have under a MHTP?

Eligible people can receive:

  • Up to 10 individual sessions in a calendar year. (6 PLUS 4)
  • Up to 10 group therapy sessions in a calendar year. (6 PLUS 4)

PREPARING A GP MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT PLAN –
(Item 2700, 2701, 2715 or 2717)

What is involved – Assess and Plan
A rebate can be claimed once the GP has undertaken an assessment and prepared a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan by completing the steps from Assessment to the point where patients do not require a new plan after their initial plan has been prepared, and meeting the relevant requirements listed under ‘Additional Claiming Information’.

Assessment

An assessment of a patient must include:

  • recording the patient’s agreement for the GP Mental Health Treatment Plan service;
  • taking relevant history (biological, psychological, social) including the presenting complaints
  • conducting a mental state examination;
  • assessing associated risk and any co-morbidity;
  • making a diagnosis and/or formulation; and
  • administering an outcome measurement tool, except where it is considered clinically inappropriate.

The assessment can be part of the same consultation in which the GP Mental Health Treatment Plan is developed, or can be undertaken in different visits.

In order to facilitate ongoing patient focussed management, an outcome measurement tool should be utilised during the assessment and the review of the GP Mental Health Treatment Plan, except where it is considered clinically inappropriate. The choice of outcome measurement tools to be used is at the clinical discretion of the practitioner. GPs using such tools should be familiar with their appropriate clinical use, and if not, should seek appropriate education and training.

Example Assessment tool (K10):
http://www.nevdgp.org.au/files/programsupport/mentalhealth/K10_English%5B1%5D.pdf 

Reviewing a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan
(Item 2712)

The review item is a key component for assessing and managing the patient’s progress once a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan has been prepared, along with ongoing management through the GP Mental Health Treatment Consultation item and/or standard consultation items. A patient’s GP Mental Health Treatment Plan should be reviewed at least once.

The recommended frequency for the review service, allowing for variation in patients’ needs, is:

  • an initial review, which should occur between four weeks to six months after the completion of a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan; and
  • if required, a further review can occur three months after the first review.