The Victorian Psychology Clinic

Information for General Practitioners

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Making Referrals to the Victorian Psychology Clinic

THE VICTORIAN PSYCHOLOGY CLINIC

Fees

Please note that our clinic is a privately billed clinic and we are unfortunately unable to offer bulk billing. We are proud to offer psychology services well under the recommended rate of $300 per 50 minute session and our typical gap payment is $100 – $140 per session. We also offer appointments after hours and on Saturdays.

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THE VICTORIAN PSYCHOLOGY CLINIC

GP Mental Health Treatment Plans

In a calendar year (1st Jan to 31st December), your patient can receive both 10 individual and 10 group Medicare-rebated psychological therapy and Focussed Psychological Services.

THE VICTORIAN PSYCHOLOGY CLINIC

Patient eligibility for mental health treatment

To be eligible, a patient must both a mental health condition and be likely to benefit from a structured approach to manage of their needs.

The Better Access initiative enables access to psychological treatment for high prevalence mild to moderate mental health conditions. The conditions classified as mental disorders under the Better Access Initiative are informed by the World Health Organisation, 1996, Diagnostic and Management Guidelines for Mental Disorders in Primary Care: ICD-10 Chapter V Primary Care Version. For the purposes of these items, dementia, delirium, tobacco use disorder and mental retardation are not regarded as a mental disorder. Please note that Personality disorders are also not included in the ICD-10 primary care version. 

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THE VICTORIAN PSYCHOLOGY CLINIC

Mental health conditions able to be treated under the Better Access Initiative include:

  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Adjustment disorder
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Bereavement disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Conduct disorder
  • Co-occurring anxiety and depression
  • Depression
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Substance use disorders (excluding tobacco use disorder)
  • Eating disorders
  • Mental disorder, not otherwise specified
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Post traumatic stress disorder
  • Psychotic disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sexual disorders
  • Sleep problems
  • Unexplained physical complaints
THE VICTORIAN PSYCHOLOGY CLINIC

Referral letters

Please note that Medicare requirements entail that a psychologist has received a valid referral from a GP, in order to provide psychological treatment under the Better Access Initiative. Whilst receiving a copy of the Mental Health Treatment Plan is beneficial, it does not constitute a referral.

The number of services stated in the referral is a ‘course of treatment’. The maximum number of sessions you can include on a referral for the initial course of treatment is six.

Patients are eligible for two or more courses of treatment within their calendar year with a limit of 10 individual psychological sessions.

After each course of treatment, the treating psychologist will provide you with a progress letter and may request additional sessions. A new referral is required for each course of treatment. 

THE VICTORIAN PSYCHOLOGY CLINIC

What to include in referral letters

There’s no standard mental health referral, however, a signed and dated letter is required. The referral should also include your patient’s:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Their symptoms or diagnosis
  • The number of treatment services the patient has been referred for
  • Notification as to whether the patient has a MHTP, shared care plan or a psychiatrist assessment and management plan.

Referral validity

Referrals are valid for the number of services states in the referral. Mental health referrals do not expire at the end of the year. If your patient has not used all the services states on their referral by the end of the calendar year, they are able to use them the next year.

THE VICTORIAN PSYCHOLOGY CLINIC

What services can I provide and claim for with regards to the Better Access Initiative?

THE VICTORIAN PSYCHOLOGY CLINIC

Eating Disorder Treatment and Management Plans

THE VICTORIAN PSYCHOLOGY CLINIC

Who is eligible for an Eating Disorder Treatment and Management Plan?

  • People with anorexia nervosa (no other criteria needs to be met); or 
  • People who meet the eligibility criteria (below) and have a clinical diagnosis of bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder (BED) or other specified feeding and eating disorders (OSFED).   

The eligibility criteria that need to be met for a person with a clinical diagnosis of bulimia nervosa, BED and OSFED, are: 

  • Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) scores ≥ 3 and 
  • The condition is characterised by rapid weight loss, or frequent binge eating, or inappropriate compensatory behaviour as manifested by 3 or more occurrences per week and 
  • Two of the following indicators are present: 
    • clinically underweight with a body weight less than 85% of expected weight where weight loss is directly attributable to the eating disorder 
    • current or high risk of medical complications due to eating disorder behaviours and symptoms 
    • significant functional impairment resulting from serious comorbid medical or psychological conditions 
    • admission to a hospital for an eating disorder in the previous 12 months 
    • inadequate treatment response to evidence-based eating disorder treatment over the past 6 months despite active and consistent participation.  
THE VICTORIAN PSYCHOLOGY CLINIC

How to make a referral

Please see the below flowchart of referral and ongoing review of the EDPs:

THE VICTORIAN PSYCHOLOGY CLINIC

EDP item numbers:

When Reviewing an EDP by GP, medical practitioner, consultant psychiatrist or consultant paediatrician.
In addition to the GP review, after sessions 11-20 a review is also required by a Consultant Psychiatrist or Consultant Paediatrician to access further sessions. Due to the high demand for Consultant Psychiatrists and Consultant Paediatricians it is recommended that a referral is sought early in treatment to ensure treatment is not affected or delayed.
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