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Psychological treatment can also be accessed through the Medicare Funded Better Access to Mental Health Care Program if you are assessed by your doctor as having a mental health issue which meets the criteria for referral to a psychologist.  Examples of issues covered include anxiety, depression, phobias, panic attacks, trauma, bereavement, and a number of others.  To be eligible for receiving Medicare rebates for psychology consultations, your general practitioner (GP) needs to prepare what is referred to as a Mental Health Treatment Plan, together with a letter referring you to Sharon for treatment.


The maximum number of Psychology sessions allowed by Medicare in a calendar year under the Better Access Program is 10.  Your GP can refer initially for either five or six sessions.  At the conclusion of these sessions, if further consultations are deemed necessary, you need to return to see your GP for a review.  I provide the GP with written feedback to assist with the review process.  If your GP decides to refer you for further sessions, he or she will then write a new referral letter.


If you wish to be referred for psychological treatment through the Better Access Program and to claim Medicare rebates, you would need to contact your GP and request a special appointment. When booking your doctor's appointment,  advise the receptionist that the purpose of the consultation is for the preparation of a Mental Health Treatment Plan.   The time taken to complete a Treatment Plan can take up to an hour to complete.


Once the Treatment Plan has been finalised by your GP, and you have a referral letter, you can then contact Sharon to  make an appointment.


Referrals by Psychiatrists


Under the Better Access Program, a private psychiatrist can also refer clients for psychological treatment.  Unlike doctors, private psychiatrists do not need to prepare a Mental Health Treatment Plan, and can refer directly to a private psychologist.  What is required is a consultation with the treating psychiatrist and a referral letter from the psychiatrist to the psychologist.


For further information about accessing psychology services and claiming Medicare rebates, refer to the Australian Psychological Society’s website here.

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