For Referrers

Helena has a strong commitment to collaborative care.  She welcomes inquiries from new and existing referrers.

Who can I refer?

Referrals are welcomed for low risk patients aged 15+ years with: eating disorders, body image concerns, anxiety, depression, adjustment issues, sleeping difficulties, long-term effects of childhood physical, sexual & emotional abuse.   Moderate-risk clients may require the additional involvement of a psychiatrist, especially if a combination of psychotropic medications, or hospitalisation, are required.

In the interests of patient safety, all patients with eating disorders need to be medically stable, and over a BMI of 15.5 in order to be accepted for ongoing treatment.

Referrals can be faxed directly to 9077 1115.   However, please note we will not arrange any appointments until a new potential client has: 1) contacted us via the website, to register interest in becoming a new client, and 2) submitted their completed Appointment Request Form.

When considering potential referrals, please keep in mind that we do not bulk bill.  However, out-of-pocket costs associated with medicare-subsidised psychology services contribute toward a patient’s Medicare Safety Net, helping to reduce costs for high users of medical services.

What do I need to do to refer a patient under the Better Access scheme?

1.  Assess the patient as meeting eligibility criteria under one of the Better Access categories.   For further information on the Better Access Scheme click here;

2.  Complete a GP Mental Health Care Plan;

3.  Write a brief referral letter (address this to Dr. Helena Schutz);

4.  Review progress at the end of the course of referred sessions by completing a GP Mental Health Care Plan Review.

Please note that current research indicates that the majority of people with mild to moderate psychological difficulties will require more than 10 sessions of psychological treatment.   Therefore, we recommend that clients plan, and budget for this, from the outset.

What do I need to do to refer a patient under an Eating Disorders Plan?  

Step 1: Planning – Determine the patient’s eligibility for an Eating Disorders Plan (MBS items 90250 – 90257, 90260 – 90263).

Medical practitioners can complete the template here for referral purposes. 

Eligible patients
include those who have a Medicare card and:

  • Have a clinical diagnosis of Anorexia Nervosa;
  • Have a clinical diagnosis of any of the following conditions: Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, or Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorder and meet the following criteria:
    1) Average item score of 3 or more on the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire [To calculate the patient’s average EDE-Q item score: Add together items 1-12 (inclusive) + items 19-28 (inclusive), then Divide the total by 22];
    2) Rapid weight loss, frequent binge eating or inappropriate compensatory behavior (minimum 3 times per week); and
    3) At least two of the following indicators: i) clinically underweight with body weight at least 85% of expected weight where weight loss is directly attributable to the eating disorder; ii) current or high risk of medical complications due to eating disorder; iii) serious comorbid medical or psychological conditions impacting on medical or psychological health and function; iv) hospital admission for eating disorder within last 12 months; v) inadequate treatment response to evidence based eating disorder treatment over the past 6 months despite active and consistent participation.

Patients who do not meet eligibility criteria for an Eating Disorders Plan may still be eligible to access subsidised sessions under other Medicare schemes (e.g., Better Access, Chronic Disease Management Plan), or Private Health Insurance.  

Step 2: Commence Initial Course of Treatment (MBS items 82352 – 82383, 90271 – 90272 for psychological services, MBS items 82350 and 82351 for dietetic services);

Step 3: Eating Disorder Review to continue on initial course of treatment (MBS items 90264 – 90269) following Session 1-10 Progress Report from the clinical psychologist;

Step 4: Formal Specialist and Practitioner Review (MBS items 90264 – 90265 for GPs, MBS items 90267, 90269, 90266 or 90268 for specialists) – following Session 11-20 Progress Report from the clinical psychologist;

Step 5: Access to Maximum Intensity of Treatment (MBS items 90264 – 90265).following Session 21-30 Progress Report from the clinical psychologist.

For a more detailed summary regarding each step of the process for the patient, please refer to this patient summary.

If you have any questions that are not addressed in the information above, including queries regarding the Medicare Safety Net, please contact Medicare directly on 132 011 (7 days a week, 24 hours a day), check MBS online, or refer to the specific details provided in the MBS Eating Disorders – Quick Reference Guide.  

What do I need to do to refer a patient under a Chronic Disease Management Plan?   

1.  Assess the patient as having complex care needs that require treatment from 2+ health providers (i.e., in addition to the GP).   For further information on eligibility for a Chronic Disease Management Plan click here;

2.  Complete a GPMP and Team Care Arrangements plan that specifies the number of item 10968 (Psychology) consultations you are approving (maximum of 5 per calendar year).