Mental Health Care Plan

What is it?

The Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the Medicare benefit 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 GPs, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, eligible Social Workers and Occupational therapists.

What Services can be provided:

Medical rebates are available for up to 10 individual and 10 group allied mental health services per calendar year to patients with an assessed mental disorder who are referred by:

  • GP managing the patient under a GP mental health treatment plan or
  • Under a referred Psychiatrist assessment and management plan or
  • A Psychiatrist or Paediatrician

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 (such as anxiety, depression, and severe behaviour). Autism Spectrum Disorders alone are not regarded as mental disorders for the purpose of this initiative.

How can I access these services?

Step 1:

Visit your GP who will assess whether you have a mental disorder and whether you are eligible for this initiative

Step 2:

Once your plan is in place your GP will refer you to an appropriate allied mental health care service whereby you can attend up to 6 individual or 6 group allied health mental services. It is at the GP's discretion as to the number of allied health mental health services you will be referred for (to a maximum of 6 in any one referral).

Step 3:

Depending on your needs following the initial course of treatment you can return to your GP to obtain a new referral for an additional 4 sessions to a maximum of 10 individual or 10 group services per calendar year. Your GP will assess whether you are eligible for the additional 4 sessions.