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Information for General Practitioners

Medicare Better Access to Mental Health Treatment Service


 To enable a patient to claim a Medicare rebate, please ensure the referral letter contains the following information:  

  • Patient's date of birth and address.

  • The number of sessions the patient is being referred for:

    • The maximum number of sessions a patient can be referred for under Better Access items is 6 sessions at a time. The current allowance is up to 10 individual sessions per calendar year, which is usually achieved over 2 referrals.

  • States that a Mental Health Care Plan has been created.

  • Requests the provision of psychological treatment.

  • States an eligible diagnosis or symptoms (from the ICD -10 codes, with dementia, delirium, tobacco use disorder, mental retardation being specifically excluded).

  • Signed and dated and contains provider number.

The above information must be included on a referral before a psychologist can provide services to your patient under current MBS guidelines. Further information on GP Mental Health Treatment Items can be found under note AN.0.56 on the MBS.

Can sessions be used across multiple calendar years?

Yes. Referrals can be carried over into the next calendar year.  Mental health referrals do not expire at the end of the year.

Any services carried across calendar years will count towards the maximum of 10 sessions in the calendar year that the services were accessed.

For further information, please refer to the Services Australia guide.



Source: Australian Association of Psychologists Inc. (AAPI)

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