I Am a Doctor
How do I refer to Vita Health?
Direct referral letters to specific Psychologist or Psychiatrist or generically to Vita Health Care
Referrals under Private Health Funds, Workers compensation, DVA or TAC accepted
Fax referrals for Psychiatrist triage to 03 9787 2906 or discuss your patient with Dr. Rege by arrangement
Fax MHTP or referral letter for PSYCHOLOGY to 03 9787 2906, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Item 2712 can also be used to review a 291 Psychiatry assessment
(1) Some private psychiatrists (PP’s) may not provide this. This is at the PP’s discretion.
(2) GP should specify if a psychologist is involved and include name, address and phone number.
(3) Item 291 allows for ongoing management by that PP, or another.
What can my patient expect?
A unique atmosphere and care model combining the warmth of a family practice with an outcome-driven cutting-edge approach.
Our mental health professionals are passionate about equipping your patient with the right tools to face the future – no matter how simple or complex their diagnosis.
What follow up and reports can I expect to receive about my patient’s treatment plan?
Vita Health Care use secure, simple, and reliable electronic messaging services as well as fax and postage options.
We believe strong relationships and a collaborative approach are important. We strive to offer clients comfort and continuity, and our referring partners responsive communication and succinct reporting.
Psychiatry – Following a 291 assessment GP’s can expect a comprehensive plan for their referred patient.
For patients with ongoing care, GP’s will be provided with up to date letters so that they shared care can be provided to the patient.
Psychology- A patient update letter or review is provided to GP’s following their 6th session or at the completion of treatment. Where necessary practitioners will provide GP’s with any relevant developments that may benefit the patient’s care.
When do I need to prepare a review for my patient for Psyhology?
Item 2712 is for an attendance by a GP to review a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan or to review a psychiatrist assessment and management plan. Recommended frequency is an initial review between four weeks and six months after the completion of the GP Mental Health Treatment Plan and, if required, a further review at least three months after the first review. Refer to the FACT SHEET FOR GENERAL PRACTITIONERS for further information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Vita Health Care are happy to accept referrals under the Better Access initiative, WorkCover, TAC, Veterans Affairs and Victims of Crime.
I’m referring a patient to a Psychiatrist.
Patients can be referred to psychiatrists by GPs for either:
- ongoing care – which might involve transfer of care or a shared care arrangement
- an ‘opinion and report’ (MBS item 291) – where the GP continues to act as the primary health-care provider.
To refer a patient to a psychiatrist, a letter of referral is required. The letter of referral should contain (where possible):
- the reason for the referral
- the main issues (a summary of the problems, the perceived contributors and any safety concerns)
- medical history and the relevant medical and mental health treatment that has been provided
- whether the referral is for an opinion and report or ongoing management
- whether a psychologist has recommended the GP make the referral (include their specific concerns and contact details).
If you are concerned about the safety of a patient you have referred to a psychiatrist, you should speak directly to the psychiatrist (over the phone or in person) to tell them about your concerns. This will allow them to take steps to ensure patient safety. Letters are not recommended as a way to convey urgent information.
Mental Health Treatment Plans are not required for psychiatrists, only psychologists. For psychologists, a Mental Health Treatment plan is needed to access Medicare rebates.
If a patient has not significantly improved 6 months after referral to a psychologist, it may be appropriate to refer the patient to a psychiatrist for a second opinion. Inform both parties of the referral.
If you wish to refer an active patient of a psychiatrist to a psychologist, discuss the arrangement with the psychiatrist first.
Simultaneous referrals from a GP to both a psychiatrist (for both psychotherapy and medication) and psychologist (for psychotherapy) can create confusion about treatment. Consider the need for this carefully on a case-by-case basis.
When referring a patient to a psychiatrist, it is important that you discuss the reason for the referral with the patient. This is to ensure that the patient and the psychiatrist have the same expectations from the appointment, including rebates from Medicare.
Referring for Psychiatrist Opinion and report (MBS item 291): 5 key facts for GPs
Key facts about item 291
- The GP must state that the referral is for an opinion and report (or item 291) on the referral form
- An opinion and report can be completed in up to three appointments with the psychiatrist
- The psychiatrist will provide the GP with a detailed written report within 2 weeks of the appointment
- The psychiatrist can see the patient for treatment after the report has been provided to the GP
- A patient is only eligible for one Medicare rebate on the opinion and report in a 12-month period, but there is a rebate for a review
There is provision for the psychiatrist to review the opinion and report previously prepared by them, within the 12 month period (MBS item 293).
I’m referring a patient to a Psychologist
When referring patients to a psychologist, GPs should provide similar information as per normal GP referral arrangements. The GP should consider including both a statement identifying that a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan has been completed for the patient (including, where appropriate and with the patient’s agreement, attaching a copy of the patient’s GP Mental Health Treatment Plan or psychiatrist assessment and management plan) and clearly identifying the specific number of sessions the patient is being referred for.
The referring practitioner must assess the patient’s need for further services up to a maximum of ten individual per calendar year.
Eligible patients can claim up to ten Medicare rebates for individual services provided by clinical psychologists, appropriately trained GPs or registered psychologists.
Following the initial course of treatment (a maximum of six services but may be less depending on the referral and the patient’s clinical need) GPs can refer patients for further sessions to a maximum of ten services per calendar year
Preparation of a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan (Items 2700, 2701, 2715, and 2717)
Item 2700: for the preparation of a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan by a GP who has
not undertaken mental health skills training, lasting at least 20 minutes to less than
? Item 2701: for the preparation of a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan by a GP who has not undertaken mental health skills training, lasting at least 40 minutes.
? Item 2715: for the preparation of a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan by a GP who has undertaken mental health skills training, lasting at least 20 minutes to less than 40 minutes.
? Item 2717: for the preparation of a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan by a GP who has undertaken mental health skills training, lasting at least 40 minutes.
Once an initial GP Mental Health Treatment Plan is in place, a new plan should not be prepared unless clinically required and generally not within 12 months of a previous plan.
Ongoing management can be provided through consultation and review services.
Review of a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan (item 2712)
Item 2712 is for an attendance by a GP to review a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan or to review a psychiatrist assessment and management plan.
Recommended frequency is an initial review between four weeks and six months after the completion of the GP Mental Health Treatment Plan and, if required, a further review at least three months after the first review.
The Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team are responsible for assessing all persons who are being considered for hospital admission and determining whether or not a less restrictive setting is more suitable.
CATT services also provide treatment and support for people whose acute mental illness can be managed in the community as an alternative to hospitalisation.
If you have immediate concerns for a person’s safety, contact 000 or (Frankston/Mornington Peninsula catchment):
For referrals to Peninsula Health Mental Health Service
Frankston Hospital, Hastings Road, FRANKSTON
Post: PO Box 52, Frankston VIC 3199
1300 792 977 —18 years and over Triage 24 hours
9784 7095 — Aged Person’s Unit
1300 369 012 – Under 18 years Psychiatric Triage (24 hour)
Referral: Via triage service 1300 792 977
- Crisis Assessment and Treatment Service
- Aged Psychiatry Inpatient Unit and Community Team
- Adult Acute Inpatient Unit and Community Unit
Perinatal to Youth Mental Health Service (formerly CAMHS)
4th Floor, 454 Nepean Highway, FRANKSTON
Mel Ref: 102 C2
Phone: 9784 9800
Fax: 9784 9801
24 Hour: 1300 369 012 (Psychiatric Triage)
Self-referral, or by doctor, school or agency.Care, counselling, assessment and treatment of people under 18 experiencing major emotional and psychiatric disorders.
Person must live in Frankston, Langwarrin, Seaford or the Peninsula, but not Pearcedale.
Mental health education and training for GPs
All GPs are able to access the GP Mental Health Treatment items. However, GPs who have not completed Mental Health Skills Training as accredited by the GPMHSC will not be able to access higher schedule fee items 2715 and 2717 to develop GP Mental Health Treatment Plans.
GPs who have not completed the training must develop Plans under items 2700 and 2701 with lower schedule fees.
GPs can contact the GPMHSC to discuss education and training options. The contact details for the GPMHSC are: Tel 03 8699 0554 or email email@example.com.
PsychScene - the leading mental health academic training organisation
Vita Health Care is aaffiliated with PsychScene – the leading mental health academic training organisation in Australia & NZ. Psych Scene offers specialised training and professional development for Psychiatry Trainees, Psychiatrists, General Practitioners and Mental Health Practitioners.
PsychScene offers GPs one-day training masterclasses to enhances the General Practitioner’s ability to diagnose, treat and manage common presentations of mental disorders across the lifespan. Interactive and Effective with 40 CPD points on completion. The GP Mental Health Skills Masterclass is RACGP and ACRRM Accredited Mental Health Skills Training.
Further online training
- Further online training can also be accessed via www.psychinterview.com
- CPD training from www.psychscenehub.com
- Major Depressive Disorder with Mixed Features Interactive Learning Tool – CPD
Psych Scene Hub
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Two Clinic Locations:
135 Mount Eliza Way, Mount Eliza VIC, 3930
1293 Nepean Hwy, Mount Eliza
Phone: (03) 5972 2444
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