Which mental health disorders are covered under a GP Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP)?
- Psychotic disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Phobic disorder
- Panic disorder
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Adjustment disorder
- Mixed anxiety and depression
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Unexplained somatic complaints
- Sleep problems
- Eating disorders
- Sexual disorders
- Hyperkinetic (attention deficit) disorder
- Enuresis (non-organic)
- Bereavement disorder
- Conduct disorder
- Drug & Alcohol use disorders
- Dissociative (conversion) disorder
- Mental disorder, not otherwise specified
-Dementia, delirium, tobacco use disorder and mental retardation are not regarded as mental disorders for the purposes of the mental health Medicare items.
Can a GP send patients to any psychologist under a MHCP?
Under the scheme a psychologist must be registered with Medicare and have a Medicare Provider Number in order to be able to provide services under the Better Access scheme.
GP MHCP: what is it and does it expire?
Patients normally receive a GP Mental Health Care Plan, which is required to claim Medicare rebates for the initial 6 sessions. To use the second block of session (normally 4 sessions), a GP review is needed. Twenty individual (and group) sessions can be claimed between January to December each year.
A GP Mental Health Care Plan does not expire. It is an ongoing document. A patient doesn’t need a new Care Plan just because it is a new calendar year or 12 months since the Care Plan was written up. A plan may last several years and triggers 4-6 sessions at a time. During the recent pandemic, clients are able to receive an additional block of 10 rebates without having to revisit their GP. A GP review trigger further sessions.
How many sessions does GP MHCP cover?
Until June 2022, patients could access up to 20 rebates per calendar year. The sessions could be either face to face or via Telehealth (video or telephone) options. Telehealth sessions will only be available until March 2021 at this stage.
How the psychology sessions work under a GP MHCP?
Clients engage with a registered psychologist while under a GP MHCP. After the initial 6 Psychologist appointments, they need to visit their GP again for a Review. The GP may provide a letter or review plan to provide to the Psychologist for further sessions (maximum of 6 until next review is due). The Psychologist just needs a note from their GP to continue with rebated sessions. Most of the time, GPs send a review plan.
The first GP review is between 4 weeks and 6 months and subsequent reviews are at least 3 months apart. These reviews rigger a second set of sessions.
In a calendar year, patients are entitled to a maximum of 20 rebatable psychology sessions.
How the referring medical practitioners hear from psychologists?
-Psychologists will need to ensure a report is made to the referring medical practitioner at the completion of the initial course of treatment provided to the client (the course of treatment is the number of services stated in the referral, up to a maximum of six sessions).
-Psychologists will also need to ensure a report is made to the referring practitioner at the completion of any subsequent treatment that forms the end of an episode of treatment provided to the client, &
– Psychologists will provide a report to the referring practitioner includes information on: (1) assessments carried out; (2) treatment provided; and (3) recommendations on the future management of the client’s disorder.
For further information on MHCP refer to the following links:
The following links are listed to provide you with additional online mental health care information and counselling resources:
Beyondblue- 1300 22 4636 (24-hour phone support and online chat service and links to resources and apps)
Lifeline – 13 11 14 (24 hour Australian crisis counselling service)
Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467
Queensland Health Mental Health Services
1300 MH CALL (1300 642 255) : Mental health access line
Domestic and Family Violence Life Line
13 11 14 ( crisis support)
1800 177 833- 24 Alcohol and Drug Support-
Note: Psych Connect is not responsible for the content, claims or representations of the listed sites.