On the 1st of November, 2019, the government released a new Medicare initiative to support the treatment of person’s with an Eating Disorder.
Person’s with a diagnosed eating disorder can now access up to 40 sessions with a psychologist and up to 20 sessions with a dietitian for the treatment of their eating disorder.
This is initiated and managed under a step-cared approach.
The first step involves the GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician preparing an “Eating Disorder Treatment and Management plan” (EDP). During the planning, the managing practitioner prepares referrals for the appropriate allied health practitioners such as a psychologist and a dietitian. An initial referral for 10 psychology sessions and 20 dietitian sessions is made at the time of first referral.
The next step involves the patient engaging with their allied health treatment team. Once they have completed 10 sessions with a psychologist, the patient’s EDP is reviewed by the managing practitioner (i.e., the practitioner that set up the EDP, which is most likely the GP). If it is deemed appropriate to continue treatment, the managing practitioner can then refer for a further 10 sessions with the psychologist.
Before the patient can have any further sessions past the 20 session mark, the patient must complete a review with a specialist, either a psychiatrist or for children, a paediatrician. This appointment can happen any time before completing 20 sessions with the psychologist and it is recommended that a referral to a specialist happens at the time that the EDP is first prepared, given there may be a waiting period to get in with your specialist.
After 20 sessions with the psychologist, the patient also has a review of their EDP with their managing practitioner (likely the GP). If both the specialist and managing practitioner agree to further treatment, then a referral is prepared for a further 10 sessions with a psychologist.
The maximum treatment on an EDP is 40 sessions with a psychologist. To access the final 10 sessions, the patient has a review after completing 30 sessions with a psychologist.
As a patient, this may sound all very confusing. The important thing to remember is once you have an EDP prepared and you commence your treatment that you will be required to have a review every 10 sessions in order to continue along your treatment plan. Your psychologist will help you keep track of your appointment requirements along the way.
At CBT Professionals, we have five psychologists with specific experience in treating Eating Disorders. We also have a dietitian who specifically focuses on the treatment of eating disorders. Having your allied health team co-located in the one clinic means that we can share information easily between practitioners and provide a co-ordinated treatment approach.
If you would like to engage with our Eating Disorders Outpatient Treatment service, please download our Referral Form here and take it to your GP. It provides all the information you need to know about getting a referral and who we are, which will assist your GP to make the necessary referrals.