Answers to common questions from GPs and clients about the GP Mental Health Treatment Plan (GP MHTP), sometimes called a Mental Health Care Plan.
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For Clients
Did you know that you are eligible to get some of your fee back under a Medicare rebate? You need a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan. Below are some common questions from clients (and GPs) about how it works.
For GPs
Frequently asked questions by GPs / Doctors about the GP Mental Health Treatment Plan (GPMHTP, GP MHTP)
How much is the Medicare rebate for seeing a psychologist? How much is the Medicare rebate for seeing a clinical psychologist?

You will receive $89.65 back after a 50-minute therapy session with a registered psychologist, as long as you have a valid GP Mental Health Treatment Plan. You’ll get $131.65 after seeing a clinical psychologist. (As of mid-2023 and rebates are typically adjusted yearly)

Is it mandatory for a GP to provide a letter when referring a patient for psychological services?

Yes. A GPMHTP alone is not considered as a referral. The referral may be in the form of a dated and signed letter (or email)to an eligible allied health professional and can be addressed generically to ‘the psychologist’.

Does the patient have to see the specified psychologist or are GPMHTPs transferable between psychologists?

The patient is not obliged to go to the same practitioner as specified by the GP. The patient can see another practitioner inthe same discipline, provided they can provide the same psychological service.

How many sessions of individual therapy is a patient eligible for under their GPMHTP?

Up to 10 sessions per calendar year. 6 sessions under the initial plan and subsequently eligible for a further 4 sessions if they require additional treatment within the calendar year. (Note that patients with an eating disorder may be eligible for a separate Eating Disorder Plan (EDP) covering subsidies for 20 sessions with a dietitian and up to 40 sessions with a mental health clinician over a 12 month period. The EDP can be used concurrently with the GPMHCP and the Chronic Disease Management Plan).

How can a GP request access for the additional 4 sessions?

By either: (i) conducting a review of the patient’s GPMHTP (if clinically appropriate/necessary); or (ii) writing a letter to the treating psychologist requesting that the patient continue to be seen for the balance of their remaining sessions for the calendar year.

Is a patient with an existing GPMHTP eligible for another set of 10 sessions in the new calendar year (January 1), or only after their GPMHTP has expired?

From the beginning of a new calendar year, the balance of a patient’s GPMHTP sessions resets to 10. A patient with a valid GPMHTP will be able to continue their treatment without requiring a new plan.

What happens if a patient has not used all of the psychological services they were referred for in the calendar year?

The unused services may be used the next calendar year and will count towards the maximum number of services available to the client in that year.

How often does a new GPMHTP need to be created?

Only at commencement or if a significant change in the patient’s circumstances or a transfer to a new GP. A patient can continue on the same GP MHTP indefinitely with the GP updating a patient’s original plan over the years if appropriate.

When does the GP need to complete a GPMHTP review?

After the sixth session, when the GP may recommend another four sessions if needed. Patients should have at least one formal review (MBS item 2712), whichshould occur 4 – 26 weeks after the GPMHTP commenced. If a further review is required, this can occur three months after the first review. Most patientsshould not need more than two formal reviews in a 12-month period. If a patient is not due/eligible for a GPMHTP review but requires access to furthersessions under their plan, you may write a letter to the treating psychologist requesting that the patient continue to be seen. Please indicate the number ofsessions you are requesting the patient have access to (e.g. “for the balance of their remaining sessions for the calendar year”).

Which MBS items can be used when conducting a GPMHTP review?

GPs can use a different MBS item number to Item 2712 to conduct a review of a patient’s GPMHTP, such as attendance items 23, 36 and 44. MBS item 2712does not have to be used in order for additional psychological services to be accessed. MBS item 2713 is for the ongoing management of patients with amental disorder, including patients managed under a GPMHTP. However, it can be used whether or not a patient has a GPMHTP. There is no limit or ‘cap’ onthe number of GP Mental Health care consultation items that can be claimed by a medical practitioner for services to eligible patients. MBS item 2713 may be used for ongoing management of a patient with a mental illness and can be claimed if the patient requires an extended consultation. 2713 should not be used for the development of a GPMHTP and cannot be used at the same time as the review of a GPMHTP.

How many group therapy sessions is a patient eligible for under their GPMHTP?

A patient with a valid GPMHTP is entitled to up to 10 group therapy sessions per calendar year, provided that participation in the group program is considered complimentary to their individual treatment. Group sessions do not come out of the patient’s allocation of 10 sessions. Patients are eligible for up to 10individual sessions and 10 group sessions per calendar year.

Can a patient use a Chronic Disease Management (CDM) Plan during or after their GPMHTP?

Yes, mental health patients are eligible if they have
a mental illness as well as significant co-morbidities and complex needs requiring team-based care. A Medicare rebate is available for a maximum of five services per patient each calendar year (over and above those who have used their GPMHTP rebates). The creation of multiple plans should be avoided, unless the patient clearly requires an additional care plan for the management of a separate medical condition.

Can the CDM be used to treat a chronic mental health disorder?

A patient is eligible for access to CDM items if they have at least one medical condition that has been present (or is likely to be present) for at least six months or is terminal. EG: Asthma, Musculoskeletal conditions, Cardiovascular disease, Stroke, Diabetes. A mental health disorder alone does not allow access to CDM items


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