Medicare programs and resources
Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS)
ATAPS enables GPs under the Better Outcomes in Mental Health Care (BOiMHC) program to refer consumers to allied health professionals who deliver focussed psychological strategies.
Allied health professionals have been defined to include:
- social workers
- mental health nurses
- occupational therapists
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers with specific mental health qualifications.
Through ATAPS, patients are eligible for a maximum of 12 sessions per calendar year - six time-limited sessions with an option for a further six sessions following a mental health review by the referring GP.
Better Access initiative
The Better Access initiative aims to:
- encourage more GPs to participate in early intervention, assessment and management of patients with mental disorders and to streamline access to appropriate psychological interventions in primary care;
- encourage private psychiatrists to see more patients;
- provide referral pathways for appropriate treatment of patients with mental disorders including treatment by eligible clinical psychologists, psychologists and accredited social workers and occupational therapists;
- provide eligible patients with Medicare rebates
- GPs and primary care providers with education and training to better diagnose and treat mental disorders.
Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program
The Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program (MHNIP) funds community based general practices, private psychiatric practices and other appropriate organisations to engage mental health nurses to assist in the provision of coordinated clinical care for people with severe mental health disorders.
Online education services
Medicare Australia has a range of online education services available to help health professionals understand their obligations when working with the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). These resources are available online at: