Clarification on Better Access MyMedicare link

2 minute read

Only patients already registered with MyMedicare will have their Better Access referrals tethered to the enrolment program.

From November 2025, people who are using the government’s patient enrolment program will have to go through their registered GP to get a referral for 10 subsidised psychologist sessions under the Better Access scheme.  

People who do not register with MyMedicare can continue to get their Better Access referrals from any GP, regardless of whether they have an existing formal relationship or not.  

This is a clarification of what our sister publication The Medical Republic reported last week which was that all Better Access referrals would be tied to MyMedicare from November 2024. 

The same budget measure will also ditch the specific mental health treatment plan MBS item numbers like 2712, allowing GPs to use regular time-based item numbers in its place.  

According to a Services Australia factsheet, the updates expand the “range and reach of free mental health services” while allowing Better Access “to better meet the needs of individuals and improve equity of access”.  

Services Australia will receive $1 million over four years to administer the measures. 

In the post-budget crush, Services Australia erroneously reported that the initiatives were not subject to legislation; in fact, a disallowable instrument will be tabled.  

It’s not clear why these specific changes are being made. 

Better Access is hugely popular. Around 5% of Australians receive at least one subsidised psychology session under Better Access each year.  

If all Better Access referrals had been contingent on a MyMedicare registration, it would have likely attracted an avalanche of people into the voluntary enrolment scheme. 

Instead, the shift will be relatively minor. 

Right now, the only incentives to sign up for the program are that it unlocks better patient rebates for long telehealth consults and allows GPs to apply the triple bulk-billing incentive for longer telehealth consult.  

Later this year, programs will go live that specifically target people in residential care, people with chronic disease and people who are frequently admitted to hospital.   

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