Self and GP Referrals

Self Referrals

Please note, you do not need a referral if you do not wish or are unable to claim from Medicare.

You may be able to claim a rebate on your sessions with your private health fund. Please check with your health fund about their rebate amounts.

Please note that you cannot claim a private health fund rebate in addition to the Medicare rebate. You need to decide if you will use Medicare or your private health insurance cover to pay for the psychological services you receive.

GP Referrals

Better Access Scheme

If you wish to claim a Medicare rebate on your visits under the Better Access scheme (up to 6 to 10 sessions per calendar year), you will need to see your General Practitioner (GP) or Psychiatrist for a referral as part of a Mental Health Treatment Plan. A referral is for a maximum of 6 sessions and your referring doctor will assess your progress to determine if further sessions are needed.

To be able to claim a Medicare rebate you must provide your referral letter and, if you like, a copy of the GP Mental Health Treatment Plan at your first session. The mental health problems that are covered under the Better Access scheme include depression, anxiety, alcohol use disorder, bereavement disorder, sleep problems as well as co-occurring anxiety and depression.

A client may not be referred under Better Access for conditions such as Dementia, Delirium, Tobacco Use Disorder or Mental Retardation, or where the primary concern is relationship issues, learning difficulties or social problems.

Services to Veterans

Veterans do not require a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan or GP Management Plan and Team Care Arrangements (TCA). Only a standard referral from a GP is required.

Veterans will not be charged a “gap fee” and there is no limit on the number of sessions per year.

Referral letters

Referral letters can be made out specifically to a psychologist (Ana Guinea) or can be generically made out to the practice:

‘Dear Psychologist’
Small Steps Matter
36 Niger Street
Vincentia NSW 2540

Referrals across calendar years

If a referral letter is provided towards the end of the calendar year and there are remaining sessions that have not taken place in the existing calendar year, there is no need for a new referral. The remaining sessions can take place in the new calendar year. However, any sessions that take place in the new calendar year, still count towards the 10 services that each person is entitled to per calendar year.

On-going referrals 

All patients must be reviewed by the GP after each course of treatment. The Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP) does not expire and a new MHTP need only be prepared where clinically required (e.g., a change in the patient’s condition). If the patient needs further treatment (to a maximum of 10 sessions per calendar year), the referral can be made in the form of a standard GP referral letter.

Please refer to the FAQS section to provide more information on Medicare rebates or contact us with any questions.

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