Uptake rates varied enormously across the 28 items that comprise the suite of Better Access MBS items. Figure 3.4 shows the uptake rate for each item, sorted by descending order of magnitude within each item group. Note that rates less than 0.5 per 1,000 total population are not visible on the figure.

A complete list of the uptake rates for individual items is provided in table 3.7 and table 3.8. The first six rows of table 3.7 show the six items with the highest uptake rates. These items were used by at least 5% of Better Access users in each of 2007, 2008 and 2009. Table 3.7 and table 3.8 show that:

  • Three of the six items with the highest uptake were the GP Mental Health Treatment items (2710, 2712 and 2713).

    • The highest uptake rate was for the GP Mental Health Treatment Plan (item 2710), which is consistent with its role as the main point for initial assessment and subsequent referral, if appropriate, to other health Better Access services.

    • The ratio of people receiving GP Mental Health Treatment Plans (item 2710) relative to people receiving GP Mental Health Treatment Reviews (item 2712) was 4.6:1 in 2007, decreasing to 3.3:1 in 2008 and 3.1:1 in 2009.

    • More than one–third (36.2%) of Better Access users received at least one GP Mental Health Consultation service (item 2713) in 2009 (31.5% in 2007 and 34.3% in 2008). This service is used for ongoing management of a patient with a mental disorder, including but not limited to, patients being managed under a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan (item 2710). Item 2713 can be used with or without item 2710, however item 2710 must be used initially to trigger patient access to allied health Medicare rebatable services.

  • Of consumers who received services under the Consultant Psychiatry items, approximately 80% used item 296 (Consultant Psychiatrist – Initial Consultation), again reflecting the item’s function in assessing consumers for appropriateness to receive other Better Access services. This pattern was consistent across 2007, 2008 and 2009.

  • Of consumers who received services from clinical psychologists under the Psychological Therapy Services items, virtually all (98%) used the 80010 (Service provided in rooms, 50+ minute consultation) item. Approximately 4% used the 80000 item (Service provided in rooms, 30–50 minute consultation). Use of the Psychological Therapy Services items for out of room services (items 80005 and 80015) and for group sessions (item 80020) was negligible. This pattern was consistent across 2007, 2008 and 2009.

  • Of consumers who received services from other allied health professionals under the Focussed psychological therapies items, virtually all (approximately 90%) used the 80110 (Service provided in rooms, 50+ minute consultation) item provided by general psychologists. Use of services provided by Occupational Therapists was negligible, as was use of services provided by social workers with the exception of item 80160 (Service provided in rooms, 50+ minute consultation).

  • Claims for group session Psychological Therapy Services and Focussed psychological Strategies items (item numbers 80020, 80115, 80145, 80165) were negligible.
Top of pageFigure 3.5 plots the growth in rates of uptake by quarter from the December 2006 quarter to the March 2010 quarter, for each of the six highest uptake items. It should be noted that the substantial drop in uptake for item 2710 in the March 2010 quarter is due to the introduction of item 2702 which occurred on 1 January 2010. As of this date, only GPs who have completed accredited Mental Health Skills Training were eligible to claim a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan under item 2710. GPs who have not completed accredited Mental Health Skills Training were eligible to claim a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan under item 2702, which has a lower schedule fee than item 2710.

Comparisons of the 2007 and post–2007 trends for each of the highest uptake items are shown in table 3.9. For analyses involving item 2710, the period of analysis was truncated at the end of the December 2009 quarter to allow for the downturn in claims under item 2710 associated with the introduction of item 2702 in January 2010.

Figure 3.5 and table 3.9 show that:

  • The rate of uptake of the GP Mental Health Treatment Plan (2710) item increased from 5.8 per 1,000 total population in the March 2007 quarter to 7.2 per 1,000 in the December 2009 quarter. For this item, the rate of growth was negative in the 2007 period (RR = 0.981; P < 0.001), reflecting that the use of this item was quickly established in the initial months of operation of Better Access, but increased significantly after 2007 (RR = 1.029; P < 0.001). This change in trend was statistically significant (RR = 1.049; P < 0.001).

  • The rate of uptake of the GP Mental Health Treatment Review (2712) item increased from 0.7 per 1,000 total population in the March 2007 quarter to 3.2 per 1,000 in the March 2010 quarter. The rate of uptake of the GP Mental Health Consultation (2713) item rose from 2.8 per 1,000 total population in the March 2007 quarter to 6.9 per 1,000 in the March 2010 quarter. Uptake rates for the GP Mental Health Treatment Review and Consultation items grew over both periods, although the rate of growth for both was significantly slower in the post–2007 period.

  • The rate of uptake of the Focussed Psychological Strategies item 80110 (General Psychologist) increased from 2.8 per 1,000 total population in the March 2007 quarter to 6.8 per 1,000 in the March 2010 quarter. The rate of uptake of the Psychological Therapies item 80010 rose from 1.3 per 1,000 total population in the March 2007 quarter to 4.1 per 1,000 in the March 2010 quarter. Uptake rates for items 80110 and 80010 grew significantly over the 2007 and post–2007 periods, although the rate of growth for both was significantly slower in the post–2007 period.

  • The rates of uptake of Consultant Psychiatry item 296 were stable between the March 2007 quarter (0.9 persons per 1,000 total population) and the March 2010 quarter (0.9 persons per 1,000 total population). The analysis of trends showed that there was no significant trend in uptake within or between the 2007 and post–2007 periods.

Figure 3.4 Uptake of individual Better Access MBS items, in descending order of magnitude within Item group, 2007, 2008 and 2009


Text equivalent below for Figure 3.4 Uptake of individual Better Access MBS items, in descending order of magnitude within Item group, 2007, 2008 and 2009
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Text version of Figure 3.4

Item groupItem number2007
Rate per 1,000 total population
2008
Rate per 1,000 total population
2009
Rate per 1,000 total population
GP
2710
22.41
26.06
29.91
GP
2713
10.59
15.16
19.02
GP
2712
4.86
7.76
9.59
CP
296
3.46
3.52
3.71
CP
291
0.42
0.53
0.63
CP
297
0.34
0.38
0.41
CP
293
0.04
0.07
0.09
CP
299
0.04
0.04
0.05
PT
80010
4.63
7.01
8.75
PT
80000
0.20
0.28
0.33
PT
80015
0.06
0.10
0.15
PT
80020
0.03
0.05
0.06
PT
80005
0.01
0.01
0.02
FPS
80110
9.86
13.13
15.74
FPS
80160
0.50
0.89
1.24
FPS
80115
0.26
0.41
0.61
FPS
80100
0.47
0.49
0.59
FPS
80135
0.09
0.15
0.21
FPS
80120
0.04
0.07
0.11
FPS
80165
0.02
0.06
0.10
FPS
80105
0.04
0.05
0.07
FPS
80150
0.02
0.03
0.04
FPS
80140
0.01
0.03
0.03
FPS
80125
0.01
0.02
0.03
FPS
80155
0.00
0.02
0.02
FPS
80130
0.00
0.00
0.01
FPS
80145
0.00
0.01
0.00
FPS
80170
0.00
0.00
0.00

Item group: GP, General Practitioner; CP, Consultant Psychiatry; PT, Psychological Therapy Services; FPS, Focussed Psychological Strategies.

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Fig 3.5 Rates of Better Access uptake for highest uptake items by quarter, December 2006 quarter to March 2010 quarter.

Text equivalent below for Fig 3.5 Rates of Better Access uptake for highest uptake items by quarter, December 2006 quarter to March 2010 quarter.

Text version of Fig 3.5

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
Quarter296
Rate per 1,000 population
2710
Rate per 1,000 oopulation
2712
Rate per 1,000 population
2713
Rate per 1,000 population
80010
Rate per 1,000 population
80110
Rate per 1,000 population
December 06
0.4
3.2
0.0
1.3
0.3
1.0
March 07
0.9
5.7
0.6
2.8
1.3
2.8
June 07
0.9
5.6
1.3
3.3
2.0
4.0
September 07
0.9
5.5
1.7
3.7
2.3
4.6
December 07
0.8
5.4
1.8
4.0
2.4
4.8
March 08
0.9
6.0
2.0
4.1
2.5
4.9
June 08
0.9
6.7
2.2
4.8
3.2
5.7
September 08
1.0
6.8
2.3
5.5
3.3
6.0
December 08
0.8
6.7
2.3
5.7
3.3
6.0
March 09
1.0
7.5
2.6
6.0
3.6
6.2
June 09
1.0
7.4
2.6
6.1
4.0
7.0
September 09
1.0
7.8
2.9
6.5
4.3
7.3
December 09
0.9
7.0
2.7
6.4
4.2
7.1
March 10
0.9
5.0
3.1
6.8
4.1
6.8
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Table 3.7 Persons using individual MBS Better Access items in 2007, 2008 and 2009, in descending order of magnitude for 2009

Item groupProvider typeItem number2007
N persons
2007
% of persons
within item group
2007
Rate (per 1,000)
2008
N persons
2008
% of persons
within item group
2008
Rate (per 1,000)
2009
N persons
2009
% of persons
within item group
2009
Rate (per 1,000)
GPGP
2710
469,902
66.11
22.41
554,984
58.33
26.06
636,908
56.34
29.91
GPGP
2713
223,612
31.46
10.59
325,969
34.26
15.16
409,137
36.19
19.02
FPSGenPsy
80110
206,601
29.06
9.86
279,432
29.37
13.13
334,964
29.63
15.74
GPGP
2712
102,380
14.40
4.86
166,070
17.45
7.76
205,036
18.14
9.59
PTClinPsy
80010
96,750
13.61
4.63
148,860
15.65
7.01
185,914
16.45
8.75
CPCP
296
72,859
10.25
3.46
75,347
7.92
3.52
79,437
7.03
3.71
FPSSW
80160
10,415
1.47
0.50
18,892
1.99
0.89
26,470
2.34
1.24
CPCP
291
8,836
1.24
0.42
11,280
1.19
0.53
13,451
1.19
0.63
FPSGenPsy
80115
5,350
0.75
0.26
8,773
0.92
0.41
12,902
1.14
0.61
FPSGenPsy
80100
9,794
1.38
0.47
10,343
1.09
0.49
12,511
1.11
0.59
CPCP
297
7,256
1.02
0.34
8,323
0.87
0.38
9,012
0.80
0.41
PTClinPsy
80000
4,277
0.60
0.20
5,938
0.62
0.28
7,076
0.63
0.33
FPSOT
80135
1,797
0.25
0.09
3,178
0.33
0.15
4,380
0.39
0.21
PTClinPsy
80015
1,236
0.17
0.06
2,197
0.23
0.10
3,119
0.28
0.15
FPSGenPsy
80120
849
0.12
0.04
1,433
0.15
0.07
2,253
0.20
0.11
FPSSW
80165
501
0.07
0.02
1,287
0.14
0.06
2,151
0.19
0.10
CPCP
293
896
0.13
0.04
1,490
0.16
0.07
2,033
0.18
0.09
FPSGenPsy
80105
890
0.13
0.04
1,117
0.12
0.05
1,479
0.13
0.07
PTClinPsy
80020
602
0.08
0.03
1,019
0.11
0.05
1,342
0.12
0.06
CPCP
299
915
0.13
0.04
951
0.10
0.04
1,018
0.09
0.05
FPSSW
80150
342
0.05
0.02
607
0.06
0.03
760
0.07
0.04
FPSOT
80140
239
0.03
0.01
538
0.06
0.03
664
0.06
0.03
FPSOT
80125
181
0.03
0.01
374
0.04
0.02
589
0.05
0.03
FPSSW
80155
65
0.01
0.00
346
0.04
0.02
338
0.03
0.02
PTClinPsy
80005
279
0.04
0.01
292
0.03
0.01
332
0.03
0.02
FPSOT
80130
23
0.00
0.00
63
0.01
0.00
118
0.01
0.01
FPSOT
80145
29
0.00
0.00
107
0.01
0.01
92
0.01
0.00
FPSSW
80170
30
0.00
0.00
70
0.01
0.00
90
0.01
0.00
All Better Access itemsa
710,840
33.8
951,454
44.5
1,130,384
52.8

2007 and 2008 figures have regard to all claims processed up to and including 30 April 2009; 2009 figures have regard to all claims processed up to and including 30 April 2010.
Item group: GP, General Practitioner; CP, Consultant Psychiatry; PT, Psychological Therapy Services; FPS, Focussed Psychological Strategies.
Provider type: GP, General Practitioner; CP, Consultant Psychiatrist; ClinPsy, Clinical Psychologist; GenPsy, General Psychologist; OT, Occupational Therapist; SW, Social Worker.
Rate per 1,000 total population; Rates are directly age–standardised.
a The sum of persons receiving services under each item group will be greater than for all Better Access items because a person may receive services from more than one type of item group.

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Table 3.8 Persons using individual MBS Better Access items in 2007, 2008 and 2009, in descending order of magnitude within item group for 2009

Table 3.8 is separated into 5 smaller tables in this HTML version for accessibility reasons. It is presented as one table in the PDF version.

General practitioner

Provider typeItem number2007 N persons2007 % of persons within item group2007 Rate (per 1,000)2008 N persons 2008 % of persons within item group2008 Rate (per 1,000) 2009 N persons 2009 % of persons within item group2009 Rate (per 1,000)
GP
2710
469,902
75.93
22.41
554,984
67.87
26.06
636,908
65.54
29.91
GP
2713
223,612
36.13
10.59
325,969
39.86
15.16
409,137
42.10
19.02
GP
2712
102,380
16.54
4.86
166,070
20.31
7.76
205,036
21.10
9.59
All GP items
618,867
87.1
29.5
817,738
85.9
38.3
971,836
86.0
45.4

Consultant psychiatry

Provider typeItem number2007 N persons2007 % of persons within item group2007 Rate (per 1,000)2008 N persons 2008 % of persons within item group2008 Rate (per 1,000) 2009 N persons 2009 % of persons within item group2009 Rate (per 1,000)
CP
296
72,859
82.84
3.46
75,347
80.38
3.52
79,437
79.09
3.71
CP
291
8,836
10.05
0.42
11,280
12.03
0.53
13,451
13.39
0.63
CP
297
7,256
8.25
0.34
8,323
8.88
0.38
9,012
8.97
0.41
CP
293
896
1.02
0.04
1,490
1.59
0.07
2,033
2.02
0.09
CP
299
915
1.04
0.04
951
1.01
0.04
1,018
1.01
0.05
All CP items
87,947
12.4
4.2
93,736
9.9
4.4
100,434
8.9
4.7

Psychological therapy services

Provider typeItem number2007 N persons2007 % of persons within item group2007 Rate (per 1,000)2008 N persons 2008 % of persons within item group2008 Rate (per 1,000) 2009 N persons 2009 % of persons within item group2009 Rate (per 1,000)
ClinPsy
80010
96,750
98.11
4.63
148.860
98.20
7.01
185,914
98.15
8.75
ClinPsy
80000
4,277
4.34
0.20
5,938
3.92
0.28
7,076
3.74
0.33
ClinPsy
80015
1,236
1.25
0.06
2,197
1.45
0.10
3,119
1.65
0.15
ClinPsy
80020
602
0.61
0.03
1,019
0.67
0.05
1,342
0.71
0.06
ClinPsy
80005
279
0.28
0.01
292
0.19
0.01
332
0.18
0.02
All PT items
98,612
13.9
4.7
151,587
15.9
7.1
189,418
16.8
8.9
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Focussed psychological strategies

Provider typeItem number2007 N persons2007 % of persons within item group2007 Rate (per 1,000)2008 N persons 2008 % of persons within item group2008 Rate (per 1,000) 2009 N persons 2009 % of persons within item group2009 Rate (per 1,000)
GenPsy
80110
206,601
91.35
9.86
279,432
89.55
13.13
334,964
88.31
15.74
SW
80160
10,415
4.60
0.50
18,892
6.05
0.89
26,470
6.98
1.24
GenPsy
80115
5,350
2.37
0.26
8,773
2.81
0.41
12,902
3.40
0.61
GenPsy
80100
9,794
4.33
0.47
10,343
3.31
0.49
12,511
3.30
0.59
OT
80135
1,797
0.79
0.09
3,178
1.02
0.15
4,380
1.15
0.21
GenPsy
80120
849
0.38
0.04
1,433
0.46
0.07
2,253
0.59
0.11
SW
80165
501
0.22
0.02
1,287
0.41
0.06
2,151
0.57
0.10
GenPsy
80105
890
0.39
0.04
1,117
0.36
0.05
1,479
0.39
0.07
SW
80150
342
0.15
0.02
607
0.19
0.03
760
0.20
0.04
OT
80140
239
0.11
0.01
538
0.17
0.03
664
0.18
0.03
OT
80125
181
0.08
0.01
374
0.12
0.02
589
0.16
0.03
SW
80155
65
0.03
0.00
346
0.11
0.02
338
0.09
0.02
OT
80130
23
0.01
0.00
63
0.02
0.00
118
0.03
0.01
OT
80145
29
0.01
0.00
107
0.03
0.01
92
0.02
0.00
SW
80170
30
0.01
0.00
70
0.02
0.00
90
0.02
0.00
All FPS items
226,169
31.8
10.8
312,035
32.8
14.7
379,284
33.6
17.8

All

All Better Access itemsa:
  • 2007 N persons - 710,840
  • 2007 Rate (per 1,000) - 33.8
  • 2008 N persons - 951,454
  • 2008 Rate (per 1,000) - 44.5
  • 2009 N persons - 1,130,384
  • 2009 Rate (per 1,000) - 52.8

2007 and 2008 figures have regard to all claims processed up to and including 30 April 2009; 2009 figures have regard to all claims processed up to and including 30 April 2010.
GP, General Practitioner; CP, Consultant Psychiatry; PT, Psychological Therapy Services; FPS, Focussed Psychological Strategies.
Rate per 1,000 total population; Rates are directly age–standardised.
a The sum of persons receiving services under each item group will be greater than for all Better Access items because a person may receive services from more than one item group.

Table 3.9 Estimated change in trends for uptake of MBS–subsidised Better Access GP Mental Health Treatment items, March 2007 quarter to March 2010 quarter

Trend in year 2007
RR (95% CI)
PTrend after 2007
RR (95% CI)
PRatio of trendsa
RR (95% CI)
P
2710b
0.981 (0.978-0.983)
<0.001
1.029 (1.016-1.042)
<0.001
1.049 (1.016-1.083)
0.003
2712
1.388 (1.027-1.596)
<0.001
1.053 (1.043-1.063)
<0.001
0.759 (0.697-0.827)
<0.001
2713
1.129 (1.104-1.154)
<0.001
1.058 (1.044-1.071)
<0.001
0.937 (0.900-0.976)
0.002
80110
1.194 (1.113-1.280)
<0.001
1.044 (1.031-1.058)
<0.001
0.875 (0.826-0.926)
<0.001
80010
1.239 (1.138-1.348)
<0.001
1.056 (1.041-1.072)
<0.001
0.853 (0.799-0.911)
<0.001
296
0.991 (0.961-1.022)
0.575
1.004 (0.990-1.019)
0.568
1.013 (0.967-1.061)
0.583

2007 and 2008 figures have regard to all claims processed up to and including 30 April 2009; 2009 figures have regard to all claims processed up to and including 30 April 2010.
a The ratio of the post–2007 trend to the 2007 trend.
b For item 2710, the period of analysis was from the March 2007 quarter to the December 2009 quarter due to the introduction of item 2702 in January 2010.

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