Information for GP’s
About Better Access
Medicare rebates under the Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and General Practitioners through the MBS (Better Access) initiative are available for patients with a mental disorder to receive up to ten individual and up to ten group allied mental health services per calendar year. These services are generally provided in courses of treatment, with each course of treatment involving up to six services provided by an allied mental health professional. At the conclusion of each course of treatment, the allied mental health professional must report back to the referring medical practitioner on the patient’s progress and the referring practitioner assesses the patient’s need for further services.
Mental health services that can be provided under this initiative include Psychological Therapy services provided by eligible clinical psychologists, and Focussed Psychological Strategies (FPS) services provided by eligible General Practitioners (GPs), registered psychologists, eligible social workers, and occupational therapists.
Rebates for these services are available to patients with a mental disorder who would benefit from a structured approach to the management of their treatment and have been referred by a medical practitioner managing the patient under a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan; a referred psychiatrist assessment and management plan; or on referral by a psychiatrist or paediatrician.
The conditions classified as mental disorders for the purposes of these services are informed by the World Health Organisation, 1996, Diagnostic and Management Guidelines for Mental Disorders in Primary Care: ICD-10 Chapter V Primary Care Version.
Please use the following Medicare claim numbers:
- Preparation of a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan (6 sessions) – Medicare item number 2700, 2701, 2715 or 2717
- Review of a Mental Health Treatment Plan (4 sessions) – Medicare item number 2712
Format and Content
There is no standard form for referrals. You can refer patients for allied mental health services with a letter or note that you’ve signed and dated.
Please include in your referral:
- the patient’s diagnosis;
- the number of treatment services the patient needs to receive; and
- a statement that a Mental Health Treatment Plan or a psychiatrist assessment and management plan is in place. You may also include a copy of the plan if it’s appropriate and the patient agrees
For further information