Treatment at Anna Mills Psychology is affordable with fees charged well below the Australian Psychological Society’s recommended rates. Medicare rebates are available with a current Mental Health Care Plan, and most private health funds will also provide returns depending on your level of cover.

Clients seen at Anna Mills Psychology can be seen privately, under Medicare or private ancillary health funds. Clients do not need to access either of these systems and may prefer to meet their own costs.

Fact Sheet For Clients

The Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (Better Access) initiative aims to improve outcomes for people with a clinically diagnosed mental disorder through evidence based treatment. Under this initiative, Medicare rebates are available to patients for selected mental health services provided by psychologists.

What Medicare services can be provided under the Better Access initiative?

Medicare rebates are available for up to ten individual and ten group allied mental health services per calendar year to patients with an assessed mental disorder who are referred by:

  • A GP managing the patient under a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan
  • Under a referred psychiatrist assessment and management plan
  • A psychiatrist or paediatrician

Mental health services under this initiative include focussed psychological strategies services provided by psychologists.

Psychiatrists and paediatricians are able to directly refer patients with mental disorders for Medicare rebateable allied mental health services.

Health Professionals are free to determine their own fees for the professional services they provide. Charges in excess of the Medicare rebate are the responsibility of the patient.

What are the eligibility requirements?

The Better Access initiative is available to patients with an assessed mental disorder who would benefit from a structured approach to the management of their treatment needs.

Mental disorder is a term used to describe a range of clinically diagnosable disorders that significantly interfere with an individual’s cognitive, emotional or social abilities. Dementia, delirium, tobacco use disorder and mental retardation are not regarded as mental disorders for the purposes of this initiative.

How can I access these services under Medicare?

STEP 1

Visit your GP who will assess whether you have a mental disorder and whether the preparation of a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan is appropriate for you, given your health care needs and circumstances.

If you are diagnosed as having a mental disorder, your GP may either prepare a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan, or refer you to a psychiatrist who may prepare a psychiatrist assessment and management plan.

Alternatively, your GP may refer you to a psychiatrist or paediatrician who, once an assessment and diagnosis is in place, can directly refer you to allied mental health services. Whether a patient is eligible to access allied mental health services is essentially a matter for your treating health practitioner to determine, using their clinical judgement and taking into account both the eligibility criterion and the general guidance.

STEP 2

You can be referred for certain Medicare rebateable allied mental health services once you have:

  • A GP Mental Health Treatment Plan in place; or
  • Are being managed by a health practitioner under a referred psychiatrist assessment and management plan; or
  • Been referred by a psychiatrist or paediatrician.

Your GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician can initially refer you for a course of treatment up to six individual and six group allied mental health services, which may comprise of focussed psychological strategies by a psychologist.

It is at the clinical discretion of your referring practitioner as to the number of allied mental health services you will be referred for (to a maximum of six in any one referral).

All patients require a current Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP) in place to claim a rebate for Better Access services from Medicare. A MHTP may be provided to the allied mental health provider with the referral. A MHTP does not expire. A referral is valid until the referred number of sessions have been completed, regardless of whether a patient chooses to change their allied mental health provider.

STEP 3

Depending on your health care needs, following the initial course of treatment, (a maximum of six services but may be less depending on your clinical need), you can return to your GP, psychiatrist or and obtain a new referral to obtain an additional four sessions to a maximum of ten individual and ten group services per calendar year. Whether you have a clinical need to access the additional allied health services that attract a rebate is a decision for your treating health practitioner, taking into account the written report received from the allied mental health professional at the completion of a course of treatment. At this time, a review of your GP Mental Health Treatment Plan, or psychiatric assessment and management plan where relevant, may also be undertaken if the clinical needs of the patient have changed. These plans, however, do not expire and a review is therefore not a requirement for accessing the additional sessions. A new referral stating the number of additional services is required.

Telehealth services for people in rural areas

The Australian Government recognises the potential benefit of telehealth to deliver mental health services, especially to people in rural and remote areas.

On 1 November 2017, the Better Access initiative was expanded to include telehealth consultations to improve access to mental health services for people in regional, rural and remote Australia.

A telehealth service is a psychological therapy service that is delivered via video conference where both a visual and audio link has been established between a patient and their treating allied health professional. Telehealth services can be delivered by psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists that are registered with Medicare.

Eligible patients are required to have a Mental Health Treatment Plan and be located in a rural and remote area.

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