Helping GPs understand MBS Better Access vs COVID items

We have seen a number of errors that GP’s are making when referring clients for updates “for up to 10 sessions” as the first referral under a GP Mental Health Care Plan. When we speak to them it’s clear that they are confused about the sequencing and prerequisites for the Better Access and new Covid items for psychology. 

In short, we have been trying to emphasise that we can’t accept referrals under the additional COVID items until all 10 Better Access sessions have been exhausted. For new patients they need to refer as usual under the 2700, 2701, 2715 or 2717 items, for existing patients, regardless whether they received sessions under the additional 10 COVID items in 2020, their first review in 2021 should be under the 2712 or 2713 MHTP review items. In either case the number of authorised sessions must now be explicitly stated and not more than 6 sessions for better Access and 10 for the additional Covid sessions. Once a patient has exhausted the Better Access sessions in 2021 they can be referred using a standard consult item for the additional 10 COVID sessions and the psychologist can wrap any unused sessions from 2021 into 2022 without a new referral and of course we still need to ensure that the combined limit for the whole of 2021 is not more than the 20 session limit pa.

We put together a quick reference guide for GPs that you are welcome to use either by sharing the pdf, using the link or the QR code below.

As always, please feel free to contact us if you need a hand understanding more about Medicare or anything else admin.

CPC Team.

Click here to download the PDF

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