There are, under the Medicare Benefits Schedule, a number of schemes which exist to facilitate better care of more complex cases, and to provide better access to practitioners of other health disciplines who may contribute to the care of the Patient. These schemes are detailed below – please ask your Doctor if you think you may be eligible.
GP Management Plans
A GP Management Plan (or GPMP) is designed to optimise GP care of a patient with a complex and chronic health problem or problems, by facilitating a more comprehensive and holistic approach to the issues, and encouraging the setting and measuring of goals in the care of the patient. It is a useful tool for GPs and Patients alike, and is particularly appropriate in patients with such problems as Diabetes, Asthma, Heart Disease, Kidney Disease or many other chronic health problems. It will require a double appointment because of the extra time it takes to perform and document the assessment. If you think you may benefit from this type of assessment, ask your Doctor.
Team Care Arrangements
Team Care Arrangements (TCA) are an extension of a GP Management Plan, which must already be in place before TCA can be set up. TCA involves your GP collaboratively involving Allied Health Practitioners in your care, usually by making contact by phone or mail / fax. Once in place and documented, your GP can make referrals to your chosen Allied Health Practitioner(s) and you will then be eligible for a Medicare rebate on their services, currently $55.10 each, for up to five services per calendar year. Allied Health practitioners for whom rebates are granted may include Dietitians, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Podiatrists, Exercise Physiologists etc. Again, please ask your Doctor if you think you may be eligible.
GP Mental Health Treatment Plans
A similar scheme to the above exists for patients diagnosed with a Mental Health disorder (such as depression or anxiety etc). Under this scheme, your GP will make an assessment of your Mental Health disorder and formulate a Management Plan appropriate to your needs. If your condition is felt likely to benefit from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy such as that provided by Psychologists, your GP can make a referral to a Clinical Psychologist, and you will be entitled to claim rebates on their services of up to $125 per visit, for up to 10 visits in a calendar year (an initial 6 must be followed by a review appointment with your Doctor before more can be authorised, if appropriate). Again, it will require a double appointment to set this up because of the extra time it takes to perform and document the assessment. If you think you may benefit from this type of assessment, ask your Doctor.