GP Resources

Your patients can now see a Clinical 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 Signature Psychology practitioners are registered with Medicare. This practice is committed to providing affordable quality comprehensive mental health services to the Perth region. Medicare rebates can vary depending upon client circumstances, length of session and the type of service provided by the Clinical Psychologist. A co-payment or gap is charged, however in certain circumstances it is the policy of this practice to bulk bill so as not to disadvantage clients.

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:

  1. Bipolar disorder
  2. Phobic disorder
  3. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  4. Generalised anxiety disorder
  5. Social Phobia
  6. Panic disorder
  7. Adjustment disorder
  8. Unexplained somatic complaints
  9. Depression
  10. Sexual disorders
  11. Conduct disorder
  12. Bereavement disorder
  13. Post-traumatic stress disorder
  14. Dissociative (conversion) disorder
  15. Alcohol use disorders
  16. Drug use disorders
  17. Mixed anxiety and depression
  18. Eating Disorders
  19. Sleep problems
  20. Chronic/acute psychotic disorders
  21. Stress and chronic stress disorders
  22. Mental disorder, not otherwise specified

In addition to treating patients with a wide variety of problems such as depression, anxiety disorders and interpersonal difficulties, Principal Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Patrick Kingsep also specializes in treating those patients who have persistent psychological problems such as:

  1. complex PTSD
  2. personality disorder (eg: BPD, APD)
  3. history of trauma
  4. history of sexual abuse
  5. emotion regulation problems
  6. anger
  7. management of bipolar disorder
  8. substance use disorders
  9. mixed anxiety and depression
  10. dissociative disorders
  11. self-harm
  12. those with an offending history/criminogenic needs

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:

Signature Psychology is committed to evidence-based practice  and utilizes scientifically supported treatment modalities (such as CBT, Schema Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, and 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.
  1. Complete a GP Mental Health Care Plan. (GP Claim Item Number 2710)

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

  1. Make a referral to Signature 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 Clinical Psychologist.

  1. Review progress against the identified goals by conducting a GP Mental Health Care Review (GP Claim Item Number 2712).

This is usually conducted after the patient has received their first six sessions with a Clinical 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 four sessions with the Clinical Psychologist if necessary

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

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

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.

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.