As many of you are aware, there is a major review of MBS services underway. The Australian Psychological Society has just released their vision for how MBS items should be remodelled as part of the present reforms. This information will be particularly interesting to psychologists but I also encourage those with the ability to refer for psychological services also to understand the APS stance on this issue.
These recommendations can be summarised as follows:
- Child sessions to be reimbursable even if the child is not in the room. This is consistent with
evidence-based practice to work primarily with parents in many disorders.
- Specialist assessment items for Neuropsychologists and Educational and Developmental
- Restrictions for group psychology sessions to be loosened to encourage more group therapy
- Expansion of telehealth items to include people whose barriers to attendance are not geographical
- Invest in infrastructure to collect outcome data (more on this later)
- Item for case conferencing to encourage collaboration
Two treatment pathways
Standard pathway will be 10 + 10 sessions. The plus ten will be entirely reliant upon outcome measurement (psychometric or functional)
The Big 5 pathway 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 sessions for disorders where substantial clinical and economic evidence exists that greater treatment dosage is required, this pathway is only open to those with an Area of Practice Endorsement;
- Psychotic Disorders
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Eating Disorder
- Conduct Disorder
- Treatment-resistant Depression
Obviously, there is a lot more detail in the document, which I would encourage people to read. The APS invested in getting KPMG to do extensive economic modeling for us to both show that this model will only be marginally more expensive than what we have currently, and also to look at the downstream savings associated with treating mental illness properly.