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Mental Illness (Adults & Children)

Under the Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative, both adults and children with an assessed mental illness can receive Medicare rebates for:

  • up to 10 individual therapy sessions per calendar year, AND
  • up to 10 group therapy sessions per calendar year.

This is the most common type of medical referral to Q-Psych.

To be eligible for a Medicare rebate under this initiative clients must:

  • be assessed by their GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician to have a mental illness
  • be placed on a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP), if being managed by their GP
  • be referred to an eligible treatment provider, such as Q-Psych
  • psychiatrists and paediatricans can refer directly to Q-Psych, without a MHTP, using the Better Access MBS items*.

We can only accept referrals that comply with Medicare’s referral requirements. To be compliant, referrals must:

  • be a written letter of referral from the medical practitioner and include their Medicare provider number;
  • be addressed to Q-Psych (an individual psychologists name is not required; we will match you with the most suitable Q-Psych psychologist to assist with your needs);
  • identify that the referral is being made for services under the Better Access initiative (using the relevant MBS items)*;
  • state the number of sessions the client is being referred for (initially up to 6 max.). If no amount is stated, we can assume the maximum 6 sessions is approved;
  • a copy of the MHTP is not required to be attached, but is useful.

Program requirements:

  • the Better Access program comprises 1 to 2 treatment periods.
  • the first phase is for a maximum of 6 psychology sessions.
  • after a review by your medical practitioner, you may be referred for additional psychology sessions (total max. 10 per year).
  • the number of sessions you are referred for in each period is at the discretion of your medical practitioner (typically 6 + 4).
  • the number and frequency of sessions you receive on the referral is determined by you and your psychologist.
  • for the rebate to be claimed, the person to whom the referral was made for must receive the service (e.g. not a family member).
  • sessions must relate to the treatment of a mental illness, as defined by Medicare policy (not another psychology service).
  • only evidence-based therapies approved by Medicare can be used during these services.

Reporting requirements:

  • after your first session, your psychologist will write a brief letter to the referring medical practitioner advising that you have commenced treatment.
  • after the first phase of treatment (e.g. 6 sessions), your psychologist is required to write a brief report to your medical practitioner advising of your progress and any recommendations for ongoing management.
  • if you wish to seek more psychology sessions, you must attend your GP for a review of your mental health and to obtain a new referral. It is at your medical practitioner’s discretion, whether they refer you for extended Medicare psychology services.
  • at the conclusion of your treatment, your psychologist is required to write a brief termination report to your medical practitioner advising of the outcome of your treatment.
  • it is a condition of you receiving Better Access services and rebates, that these reports be provided. Please discuss with your psychologist if you have any concerns about this requirement.

Rebate amount:

The Medicare rebate for these services varies depending on session duration, service type, individual or group therapy, etc. Generally, the rebate ranges from $84.80 – $124.50 per 45-60mins, or higher if you have reached the Medicare Safety Net (click here for safety net thresholds).  Please note that you are required to pay the full service fee before you can claim your Medicare rebate. For your convenience, we can process your Medicare claim on-site at the time of payment for immediate reimbursement.

For more information see Better Access to Mental Health Care.

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The staff at Q-Psych are ready to help. Please call today, or fill in the contact form now and click send.

*(GP item no’s: [2700, 2701, 2715, 2717, 291]; Psychiatrist item no’s: [104-109 or 293-370]; Paediatrician item no’s: [104-109 or 110-133])

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