Consultations can be accessed through the Better Access to Mental Health Care Program, which is funded through Medicare.
To qualify for Medicare rebates under the Better Access Program, you need to be referred by your general practitioner (GP) with a Mental Health Treatment Plan and a referral letter to the psychologist. When booking an appointment with your GP, advise them of the purpose of the consultation (that you wish to be referred to a Psychologist and to have a Mental Health Treatment Plan prepared). Request a longer appointment when making the booking to see the GP, as the preparation of a Treatment Plan can be a lengthy process and take anywhere between ½ hour to one hour to complete.
Your GP can refer you for either five or six sessions. At the conclusion of these sessions you need to return to see your GP for a review and a new referral letter. The psychologist provides the GP with written feedback for the purposes of the review. If further sessions are needed, your GP then writes a new referral letter for either an additional four or five sessions.
Once the Treatment Plan has been finalised by your GP, and you have a referral letter, an appointment for a consultation can then be booked. The GP practice needs to have notified Medicare that a Treatment Plan has been prepared prior to the commencement of any psychology consultations. Once Medicare has that information on your records, then a Medicare rebate for a psychology consultation can be processed and approved.