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GP Mental Health Care Plans

Helping patients gain affordable access to Psychological Care

The Medicare 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 general practitioners (GPs), psychiatrists, psychologists (clinical and registered) and eligible social workers and occupational therapists.

Many people with mental health problems will consult a Psychologist prior to consulting their Doctor. Others choose to come directly to see a Doctor, or sometimes the Doctor may suggest that a mental health plan could be beneficial to you.

A Psychologist, school or workplace counsellor may suggest you attend your Doctor for a mental health assessment and plan. if so, it can be very helpful if you ask the Psychologist for a letter briefly outlining the reasons why he or she thinks this is appropriate for you.

What is a GP Mental Health Assessment

A mental health assessment is a consultation with your Doctor about your mental health symptoms and problems. The aim of the consultation is to allow the Doctor to make a diagnosis. If a mental health disorder is diagnosed then a GP Mental Health Care Plan can be prepared.

What is a GP Mental Health Care Plan

A Mental Health Plan is a plan that sets out the best treatment for your mental health disorder. This plan may involve seeing a Psychologist as well as other treatments such as medications.

Under the Better Outcomes in Mental Health Initiative, this means that people with a clinically diagnosed mental health problem can then receive a rebate for up to 6 sessions initially with a Psychologist, eligible social worker or occupational therapist. Further sessions can be authorised by your Doctor by carrying out a GP Mental Health Care Plan Review. This Review must be done at an appointment to qualify for the additional sessions with your Psychologist.

What conditions cannot be covered by a GP Mental Health Care Plan

Better Outcomes is an initiative to improve the individual's mental health, and at present does not cover relationship counselling, or tobacco use disorder.

Do I need a long appointment for a GP Mental Health Care Plan.

A mental health assessment can take time Please make a 30 minute appointment to discuss or prepare a mental health plan. If you have not discussed these issues with your Doctor before, it may take more than one appointment to work out the best plan for you. It is therefore a good idea to allow sufficient time between seeing the Doctor and your first appointment with a Psychologist.

It can be exhausting to speak about your mental health problems, and we would suggest that you try to see your Doctor and your Psychologist on different days .

What about couples?

Sometimes both partners within a relationship wish to see a Psychologist for individual therapy. If this is the case, we would suggest you each see a different Doctor for your mental health assessment.

How much does it cost?

Our fee for a standard GP Mental Health Care Plan is $ 165 (Pensioners $155) with a Medicare Refund of $87.60. If you have reached the Medicare Safety Net threshold the Medicare Refund increases to $149.50.

Complex GP Mental Health Care Plans taking more than 40 minutes to prepare are $225 (Pensioners $215) with a Medicare Refund of $134.10. If you have reached the Medicare Safety Net threshold the Medicare Refund increases to $206.80.

Questions?

Please ask your Doctor if you have any questions.

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