GP Mental Health Treatment Plan

GP Mental Health Treatment Plan

Preparation and Review

Activating a GP MHTP renders a patient eligible for funding under the Better Access initiative, therefore a new plan should only be prepared when clinically necessary.

Continuation on the same GP MHTP is the standard approach, allowing the GP to update the original plan as needed over the years. However, certain circumstances may warrant the preparation of a new mental health care plan, such as significant changes in the patient's circumstances or the transfer of care to a new GP.

Patients with a GP MHTP should undergo at least one formal review, ideally occurring four weeks to six months after completing the plan (MBS item 2712). If necessary, a subsequent review can take place three months after the initial one. Generally, most patients should not require more than two formal reviews within a 12-month period, ensuring a balanced and effective approach to mental health care.

A review of a GP MHTP under MBS item 2712 is applicable not only in standalone cases but also when managing a patient under a referred psychiatrist assessment and management plan (MBS item 291). Generally, MBS item 2712 shouldn't be claimed within four weeks of a referred psychiatrist assessment and management plan (MBS item 291). Notably, GPs have the flexibility to use alternative MBS item numbers like 23, 36, and 44 for reviewing GPMHTPs, ensuring a tailored and comprehensive approach to patient care.

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Referrals

GPs must provide a letter when referring a patient for psychological services, as the MHTP alone is not considered a referral.

According to the MBS, referrals to eligible allied health professionals (e.g., psychologists) can be in the form of a signed and dated letter or email directed to the psychologist by name or generically addressed to ‘the psychologist’. The referral must be received by the allied health professional at the first consultation, and under the Better Access initiative, it is assumed to cover six sessions unless specified otherwise.

Medicare advice clarifies that legislation doesn't mandate addressing referrals to a specific health professional. Patients are not obligated to see the same practitioner if a referral is addressed to one provider, allowing flexibility to choose another practitioner within the same discipline offering similar psychological services.

Under the Better Access initiative, GPs are advised to initially refer eligible patients for six psychological services. A crucial review of the patient's GP MHTP is recommended after the sixth session. Subsequently, the GP may recommend an additional four sessions if the patient requires further therapy.

Chronic Disease Management Plan & MHTP

If a patient’s GP MHTP has been used up, they may still be eligible for a chronic disease management plan. These individuals can receive a Medicare rebate for up to five services per patient each calendar year, in addition to any GP MHCP rebates they may have already utilised. This provision aims to provide ongoing support and assistance for those with chronic mental health conditions, ensuring accessible and affordable mental health care.

 

The doctors at Narangba Station Medical Centre are experienced in providing patients the mental health care they need. Contact our friendly staff to book an appointment for a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan. 

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Mental Illness Defined Under Better Access

Mental illness encompasses a spectrum of clinically diagnosable disorders that significantly impact an individual's cognitive, emotional, or social abilities. The Better Access initiative covers a variety of mental illnesses, including acute psychotic disorders, adjustment illness, alcohol-use disorders, and more.

 

Mental illnesses eligible under Better Access include:

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  • Acute psychotic disorders
  • Adjustment illness
  • Alcohol-use disorders
  • Bereavement disorders
  • Bipolar illness
  • Chronic psychotic disorders
  • Conduct illness
  • Depression
  • Dissociative (conversion) illness
  • Drug-use disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Enuresis
  • Generalised anxiety
  • Hyperkinetic (attention deficit) illness
  • Mental illness, not otherwise specified
  • Mixed anxiety and depression
  • Neurasthenia
  • Panic illness
  • Phobic disorders
  • Sexual disorders
  • Sleep problems
  • Unexplained somatic complaints 

Certain mental illnesses like dementia and tobacco-use illness are not applicable under Better Access. Despite this, GPs can address these conditions when patients with mental illness present comorbidities, emphasising a comprehensive approach to healthcare. For instance, when treating a patient with impaired cognition and mental illness, GPs can address both conditions.

Call us or book your appointment online

Bookings can be made online using our easy to use booking platform with AutoMed Systems. If you prefer to speak with our team, you can call us on 07 3521 4333.

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