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MHCP

Better Access - Aims

The Better Access to Mental Health initiative commenced in 2001. It aims to create treatment options for sufferers of mental disorders by improving access to allied health professionals & psychiatrists. Under this scheme the role of the GP is to assess, plan and review the progress of treatment against the plan. It encourages a multidisciplinary approach to mental health care by structuring the manner and timeliness of communication between mental health care workers and GP's. By recognising the efficacy of certain evidence based treatment approaches, the scheme aims to reduce the burden of mental health on the PBS and lost productivity due to lack of affordable and timely treatments.

Medicare Mental Health Care item numbers

GP items
2700 or 2701 Preparation of MHCP for GPs without Mental Health Skills training (valid lifelong for a specific diagnosed disorder)
2715 or 2717 Preparation of MHCP for GPs with Mental Health Skills training (valid lifelong for a specific diagnosed disorder)
2712 GP MHCP review
2713 Mental health care consultation

Consultant Physician Psychiatrist items
293 - 370

Consultant Physician items
110 – 133

Specialist Psychiatrists and Paediatricians items
104 – 109

Allied health items
Eligible Clinical Psychologists: 80000- 80020
Eligible Psychologists: 80100 – 80120
Eligible Occupational Therapists: 80125 – 80145
Eligible Social Workers: 80150 - 80170

Eligibility

All patients with a mental disorder, including with co-morbidity are eligible to receive treatment under the Better Access scheme. A mental disorder is defined as a clinically diagnosable disorder that significantly interferes with an individual’s cognitive, emotional or social abilities and includes the following:

  • Chronic psychotic disorder
  • Acute psychotic disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Phobic disorders
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder
  • Adjustment disorders
  • Unexplained somatic complaints
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Conduct disorders
  • Bereavement disorders
  • Post traumatic stress disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Panic disorders
  • Mixed anxiety and depression
  • Dissociative (conversion) disorder
  • Neurasthenia
  • Mental Disorder NOS
  • Sleep problems
  • Hyperkinetic (Attention deficit) disorders
  • Alcohol use disorders
  • Drug use disorders
  • Depression
  • Sexual disorders
  • Enuresis (non organic)

Approved Treatments - Evidence Based Therapies

  • Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy
  • behavioural interventions (exposure, activity scheduling, mindfulness based CT)
  • cognitive interventions (behavioural experiments, cognitive challenging)
  • Relaxation strategies
  • progressive muscle relaxation
  • Skills training
  • problem solving skills training
  • anger management
  • social skills training
  • communication training
  • time management
  • parent management training
  • Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT; especially for depression)
  • Narrative Therapy may be used with Aboriginal and TSI people

Limits to services

Medicare rebates are available for up to 10 individual and 10 group services (minimum 6, maximum 10 participants) per calendar year.

Structure of treatment

Provided in sets of sessions typically 6. The GP will typically create a care plan detailing the treatment needed and the number of sessions they authorise in the initial set of treatment sessions. On completion of these sessions with a psychologist the GP reviews the written report of progress and may choose to authorise a further set of sessions, although only 10 may be claimable in one calendar year.

Reporting requirements for Mental Health Care Providers

At the end of the authorised number sessions (maximum 6) OR on completion of the course of treatment, the clinical psychologist must provide a written report to the referring medical practitioner. The written report should include information on:

  • Assessments carried out on the patient
  • Treatment provided
  • Recommendations on future management of the patient’s disorder