GP Resources

GP Resources

Your patients can now see a psychologist with the help of Medicare.


Using Outcome Measurement Tools

Helpful Downloads for GPs

Useful Websites for GPs

 

Most common mental health problems are eligible under the Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative introduced in November 2006.  It is easy to arrange for your patients.


All Mt Barker Psychology practitioners are registered with Medicare. This practice is committed to providing affordable quality comprehensive mental health services to the Mt Barker region. Medicare rebates can vary depending upon client circumstances, length of session and the type of service provided by the Psychologist. A co-payment or gap is charged, however it is the policy of this practice to bulk bill any current Health Care Card holders.

Patient Eligibility

 

At present, this practice can accept referrals through the Medicare Better Access to Mental Health Care Scheme for patients with the following disorders who would benefit from a structured approach to the management of their mental health needs:

In addition to treating patients with a wide variety of problems such as depression, anxiety disorders and interpersonal difficulties, practitioners at Mt Barker Psychology, Andrea Sangster also in treat those patients who have persistent psychological problems such as:

For many General Practitioners, specialist assistance is not always easy to find for patients with these problems. This practice offers a specialist treatment service for such patients.

Modalities:
Mt Barker Psychology is committed to evidence-based practice  and utilizes scientifically supported treatment modalities (such as CBT, Schema Therapy, ACT, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, Systemic Family Therapy). We work with clients to bring them to a state of readiness for change whilst improving their self-relatedness. Patients are offered a compassionate and confidential service.

How do I refer?

  1. Form the view that the patient is experiencing an eligible disorder and would benefit from a structured approach to treatment.
  2.      
  3. Complete a GP Mental Health Care Plan.

        There is no set format for this however there are some minimum requirements. 

        Please click here to download an easy-to-use template that meets these minimum requirements.

  1. Make a referral to Mt Barker Psychology.

A written referral is required.  For those patients who qualify for Medicare rebates under the Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative.

 

A Mental Health Plan must be lodged with Medicare prior to the patient making an appointment with us.

 

A copy of a K10 or DASS can be helpful when forwarded to us with the referral. This initial referral will enable the patient to receive Medicare rebates for their first 6 sessions with the psychologist.

  1. Review progress against the identified goals by conducting a GP Mental Health Care Review.

This is usually conducted after the patient has received their first six sessions with a psychologist or at other relevant times.  We will send a brief relevant progress report to assist in your review. Based on your review any required adjustments to the GP Mental Health Care Plan can be made. Following this the patient can continue their next six sessions with the psychologist if necessary. 


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Using Outcome Measurement Tools


Unless clinically inappropriate, an outcome measurement tool should be utilized to evaluate symptoms during the assessment and review of the GP Mental Health Care Plan.  This provides a structured way of measuring symptoms and monitoring progress.  There is no requirement to use any specific outcome measurement tool. 

While outcome measurement tools are not diagnostic tools, a patient’s responses will illuminate some of the problems they are experiencing.  This may assist you in reaching a diagnosis.  Like any clinical instrument, clinicians using outcome measurement tools should become familiar with their appropriate use and interpretation.

Two commonly used and easily administered outcome measurement tools are available to download below.  These can be printed and given to patients to complete or read to them and their responses recorded.

 

K10 - Kessler Psychological Distress Scale

 

K10 - Download

The K10 consists of 10 items and measures non-specific psychological distress.  It takes about 2mins for the patient to complete and about 1 minute to score.  Basic scoring information is included in the download document.  Higher scores indicate increased distress and greater likelihood that a person is experiencing a mental disorder. Further information relating to the K10 is available at www.gpcare.org .

 

DASS – Depression Anxiety Stress Scale - DASS Courtesy of :  www.psy.unsw.edu.au


DASS 21 Instrument – Download
DASS 21 Scoring Template - Download
 
The DASS 21 is an abbreviated version of the DASS 42 and measures depression, anxiety and stress.  It takes approximately 2 - 4 minutes for the patient to complete. Scores for each subscale (Depression, Anxiety, Stress) can be obtained quickly by summing and doubling the scores for each of the items that make up the subscale.  The scoring template makes it easy to identify which questions contribute to each subscale.
   
The maximum score for each subscale is 42.  Higher scores indicate increased difficulty in that area.  The DASS is designed primarily to provide a continuum of severity rather than to focus on the assignment of discrete severity categories such as ‘mild’, ‘moderate’ or ‘severe’.  The DASS therefore is most useful to identify areas of difficulty experienced by patients and to track progress across the three areas.

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Helpful Downloads for GPs


GP Mental Health Care Plan Flow Chart (Click to download)
The flowchart (developed by the Australian Divisions of General Practice) illustrates the process for developing a GP Mental Health Care Plan including information relating to the use of Mental Health Medicare Items


Better Access to Mental Health Care Orientation Manual
(Click to download)

The Orientation Manual is an excellent reference and provides detailed clear information for GPs relating to the Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative.  All relevant information is covered including patient eligibility, GP Mental Health Care Plans, review and consultation, billing, education and training, referral options and resources and tools.

K10 outcome measurement tool (Click to download)

10 item outcome measurement tool measuring non-specific psychological distress.

DASS 21 Instrument  (Click to download)
DASS 21 Scoring Template (Click to download)

21item outcome measurement tool measuring depression, anxiety and stress.

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Useful Websites for GPs


www.health.gov.au
(Australian Government Health and Ageing.) 

Click on ‘A-Z index’ and then select ‘M’ for Mental Health.  Information, fact sheets and templates are available relating to Mental Health and GP and Allied Health Medicare Items.

www.primarymentalhealth.com.au
(Part of the Australian General Practice Network)

Click on “Better Access to Mental Health Care Initiative’ for GP resources, education material and lists of ‘Questions and Answers’ (FAQs) relating to the initiative.

www.gpcare.org
(Joint program between the Australian Government and the World Health Collaboration Centre St Vincent’s Hospital) in Sydney.

Useful and practical information available relating to recognizing and treating common mental health disorders, descriptions of differing psychological interventions and their evidence base and the use of outcome measures in general practice.


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