Primary Care Psychology



Mental Health Care Plan

 

The following information is provided as a reference for GPs.

 

In November 2006, the federal government delivered part of its COAG mental health package and, as such, new GP Mental Health Care items were introduced to the MBS.

 

To access Medicare rebates for consultations with a psychologist, a patient must obtain a referral and Mental Health Treatment Plan from a General Practitioner.

 

 

Overview of Changes to Mental Health Treatment Plan Items - From 1 November 2011

The key changes to the Better Access Program announced in the Federal Budget 2011-12 include a reduction in the rebate GPs can access for completing a Mental Health Treatment Plan, and new MBS Item Numbers.

 

These changes came into effect from 1 November 2011.

 

Removal of previous item numbers for the preparation of a Mental Health Treatment Plan:

  • 2702 - Preparation of a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan by a medical practitioner who has NOT undertaken mental health skills training (rebate $128.20)
  • 2710 - Preparation of a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan by a medical Practitioner who HAS undertaken mental health skills training (rebate $163.35)

Introduction of new time based item numbers for the preparation of a Mental Health Treatment Plan:

  • 2715 -  Preparation of a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan by a medical Practitioner who HAS undertaken mental health skills training lasting at least 20 minutes - rebate $87.60
  • 2717 - Preparation of a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan by a medical Practitioner who HAS undertaken mental health skills training lasting at least 40 minutes - rebate $129.00
  • 2700 - Preparation of a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan by a medical Practitioner who HAS NOT undertaken mental health skills training lasting at least 20 minutes - rebate $69.00
  • 2701 - Preparation of a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan by a medical Practitioner who HAS NOT undertaken mental health skills training lasting at least 40 minutes - rebate $101.55

Amendment of fee for Mental Health Review and Consultation Items:

  • 2712 - Review of a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan by a medical practitioner - New rebate  $69.00 (formerly $108.90)
  • 2713 - Professional attendance by a medical practitioner for a mental health treatment consultation lasting at least 20 minutes - New rebate $69.00 (formerly $71.85)

Medicare rebate-able allied mental health services

Once a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan has been completed and claimed on Medicare either through item 2700, 2701, 2715 or 2717 a patient is eligible to access up to 10 (TEN) individual Medicare rebate-able allied mental health services per calendar year. Patients will also be eligible to claim up to 10 (TEN) separate services for the provision of group therapy.

When referring patients, GPs should provide similar information as per normal GP referral arrangement, and specifically consider including both a statement identifying that a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan has been completed for the patient (including attaching a copy of the patient's GP Mental Health Treatment Plan) and clearly identifying the specific number of sessions the patient is being referred for.

Referrals for patients can be provided for an initial course of treatment (a maximum of six services in any one referral). Following the initial six consultations, the GP may consider the patient's clinical need for further sessions after the initial referral. This can be done using a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan Review, a GP Mental Health Consultation or a standard consultation item.

 

Summary of Mental Health Item Numbers - 1 November 2011

Item Description Fee Claiming
 2700 Preparation of GP Mental Health Treatment Plan by a GP who
has not undertaken mental health skills training
- lasting at least 20 minutes
 $69.00

 Once in a 12 month period
A rebate will not be paid within 12 months of a previous claim for the same item or items 2700, 2701, 2715 or 2717 or within three months following a claim for item 2712

 2701 Preparation of GP Mental Health Treatment Plan by a GP who
has not undertaken mental health skills training
- lasting at least 40 minutes
 $101.55

Once in a 12 month period
A rebate will not be paid within 12 months of a previous claim for the same item or items 2700, 2701, 2715 or 2717 or within three months following a claim for item 2712

 2715 Preparation of GP Mental Health Treatment Plan by a GP who
has undertaken mental health skills training
- lasting at least 20 minutes
 $87.60

Once in a 12 month period
A rebate will not be paid within 12 months of a previous claim for the same item or items 2700, 2701, 2715 or 2717 or within three months following a claim for item 2712

 2717 Preparation of GP Mental Health Treatment Plan by a GP who
has undertaken mental health skills training
- lasting at least 40 minutes
 $129.00

 Once in a 12 month period
A rebate will not be paid within 12 months of a previous claim for the same item or items 2700, 2701, 2715 or 2717 or within three months following a claim for item 2712

 2712
Review of GP Mental Health Treatment Plan
 $69.00

 Once in a 3 month period
A rebate will not be paid within 3 months of a previous claim for the same item or within 4 weeks following a claim for item 2700, 2701, 2715 or 2717

 2713
GP Mental Health Care Consultation
 $69.00

No Restrictions on Claiming 
Consult must be at least 20 minutes and primary issue discussed must be a mental health concern

 

 

 

 

 

Progress and Outcome Assessment

 

Most GPs use the K10 as a brief measure of depression and anxiety symptoms. Please use the link below to view a 'printer friendly' version of the K10 Symptom Scale (popup in new window).

 

 

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PDF files can be viewed in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed you can download it for free from the link below:

 

Download Link

 

Adobe PDF

 

Did you know?

  • While anyone in Australia can call themselves a "counsellor" (even those without any training!), only practitioners registered with the Psychology Board of Australia can call themselves a "psychologist"

     

  • On average, it takes about 8 years of university study and training to become a "clinical psychologist"
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