Medicare referral requirements

A Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP) is not a referral for psychological services. A MHTP is created between you and the GP as a plan to treat a mental illness. This plan will give you access to up to 20 sessions per calendar year. The GP will usually refer you to see a psychologist for an initial six sessions and may refer you for more, if necessary.

Your GP may provide you, or send to us, an MHTP. This is helpful but not necessary. To issue a Medicare rebate for psychological services, we are obliged to have a referral letter on file from the GP or psychiatrist. Without this, we can still provide the service, but it would be an offense for us to issue a rebate for it.

The referral letter needs to contain:

– Date
– Patient’s name
– Patient’s date of birth
– Patient’s address
– A diagnosis
– A request for services (to be provided by a psychologist)
– The referring practitioner’s Medicare Provider Number
– The practitioner’s signature
– The number of sessions you are being referred for


Instead, the GP will provide you with a referral letter which will include the information above. Importantly, the psychologist does not require a copy of your MHTP, just the referral letter from your GP. It is important that this is given to our clinic as soon as possible to ensure it contains the required information.

Have more questions about Medicare rebates? See our FAQ section or contact our clinic.

This information was retrieved from the Australian Government Services Website and the Australian Psychological Society