Information for referrers
We are passionate about working with clients in rural, regional and remote locations, who present with a range of complex mental health issues. We welcome new referrals via secure Fax (03) 9086 4179 or Email email@example.com.
Step 1 | Complete a referral
Medicare Funded Sessions (Including Bulk-Billing)
To access mental health treatment under Medicare, your patient must be referred by a GP, a psychiatrist or a paediatrician. The Better Access initiative provides Medicare rebates for up to 20 individual psychology sessions per calendar year, until December 2022. Medicare rebates apply to people with an assessed mental disorder and where the patient is referred by a GP or medical practitioner who is managing the patient under a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan (GP items 2700, 2701, 2715, 2717 or medical practitioner items 272, 276, 281, 282) under a referred psychiatrist assessment and management plan (item 291) or on referral from an eligible psychiatrist or paediatrician. Your patient will not be eligible if they have not been appropriately referred and a relevant Medicare service provided to them.
For your patients to be eligible to access Medicare funded sessions, a Mental Health Treatment Plan is required. To find out if your patient has a current MHTP in place, call Medicare Australia on 13 21 50. Please also include a letter of referral.
What do I bill Medicare?
Activate the Treatment plan by billing your patient’s attendance under GP Mental Health Treatment Items – (MBS Items 2700, 2701, 2715 or 2717). When reviewing an existing Mental Health Treatment Plan, you can bill MBS Item 2712.
When does the plan expire?
Once active, a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan does not expire, it is an ongoing document. You don’t need to complete a new plan just because it is a new calendar year or it has been 12 months since the plan was prepared.
Your patient has 2 years from the date the plan was created to access psychology sessions. Once they have used the initial 6 sessions, the plan can be reviewed to access additional sessions.
To find out if your patient has a current MHTP in place, call Medicare Australia on 13 21 50.
How many sessions can I include?
The maximum number of sessions a medical practitioner can include on a referral for each course of treatment is: up to 6 sessions for the initial 10 services (6 sessions + 4 sessions), or up to 10 sessions for the additional 10 services (once the initial 10 sessions have been accessed), for up to 20 sessions per calendar year.
Psychiatrists & Paediatricians
Referrals made by psychiatrists or paediatricians from an eligible psychiatric or paediatric service may be eligible for Medicare funding. Please write us a letter of referral of up to 6 sessions.
Third Party & Privately Funded Sessions
Work Cover Referrals
If your patient has a current Work cover or approved TAC claim with psychological services required as part of their recovery, please write us a letter of referral. You may not need to complete a ‘Mental Health Treatment Plan’.
NDIS client Referrals
If your patient is accessing their plan managed or self managed NDIS funding for psychological services, you can write us a letter of referral. You do not need to complete a ‘Mental Health Treatment Plan’.
Private Health Insurance
If your patient decides to use their Private Health Insurance cover to pay for the cost of their sessions, you do not need to complete a Mental Health Treatment Plan or a referral. You can advise your patient to contact us directly.
Step 2 | Send us a copy
We accept referrals via secure Fax (03) 9086 4179 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of our psychologists will triage your referral (if provided) and match your patient with a suitable clinician. We will get in touch with your patient and do an intake assessment and arrange their sessions.
Step 3 | Referral acknowledgement
Once your patient has been booked in for their first session, we will write to you to let you know.
If we are unable to accept your referral for any reason, you will be notified in writing within 48 hours or as soon as practicable.
Step 4 | Updates & Review
The treating clinician will write to you after the first session confirm their engagement in therapy. The clinician will also provide you with an update after their 6th session (and beyond), outlining progress/treatment and may request further sessions to be provided if required. If your patient disengages from therapy, you will be notified in writing.
The first formal GP review (item 2712) can be done from 4 weeks after the date of your plan.
The second formal GP review (item 2712) can be done at least 3 months after the first formal review date.
Did you know? For patients with an existing MHTP, item 2712 is not required to authorise further rebated sessions. The Psychologist just needs to receive a referral letter before seeing your patient for the next consultation(s). If your patient is not eligible for a review (2712), you can bill Medicare a 2713 for a Mental Health Treatment consultation and provide us with a referral letter allowing for additional sessions.
Other referrers can request treatment and progress updates or reports, which can be provided as required.
Resources For Health Professionals
Telehealth Psychology Poster
Download our telehealth poster to display in your waiting room
Mental Health Treatment Plan Template (PDF)
Mental Health Treatment Plan Template in PDF format
GP Mental Health Treatment Plan Template (Best Practice)
Mental Health Treatment Plan Template to be uploaded to Best Practice
GP Mental Health Treatment Plan Template (Medical Director)
Mental Health Treatment Plan Template to be uploaded to Medical Director
The Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10)
Patient Assessment Form
Link to multilingual versions
The Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21)
Patient Assessment Form
MBS Factsheet for Practitioners 09/10/2020
Topic: Additional 10 MBS mental health sessions during COVID-19 under the Better Access Pandemic Support measure
MBS Factsheet for Practitioners 30/07/2021
Topic: COVID-19 Temporary MBS Telehealth Services for GPs
APS Telehealth Information for GPs
Topic: Telehealth measure to improve access to psychological services for rural and remote patients