Medicare Benefits Schedule - Item 361

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Category 1 - PROFESSIONAL ATTENDANCES

361

361 - Additional Information

Item Start Date:
01-Nov-2007
Description Start Date:
01-Nov-2007
Schedule Fee Start Date:
01-Jul-2019

Group
A8 - Consultant Psychiatrist Attendances To Which No Other Item Applies

Professional attendance by a consultant physician in the practice of his or her specialty of psychiatry following referral of the patient to him or her by a referring practitioner-a telepsychiatry consultation of more than 45 minutes in duration, if the patient:

(a) either:

(i) is a new patient for this consultant psychiatrist; or

(ii) has not received a professional attendance from this consultant psychiatrist in the preceding 24 months; and

(b) is located in a regional, rural or remote area;

other than attendance on a patient in relation to whom this item, item 296, 297 or 299, or any of items 300 to 346 and 353 to 370, has applied in the preceding 24 month period

Fee: $308.65 Benefit: 75% = $231.50 85% = $262.40

(See para AN.0.30, AN.0.59 of explanatory notes to this Category)

Extended Medicare Safety Net Cap: $500.00


Associated Notes

Category 1 - PROFESSIONAL ATTENDANCES

AN.0.30

Consultant Psychiatrist - Initial consultations for NEW PATIENTS (Items 296 to 299 and 361) Referred Patient Assessment and Management Plan (Items 291, 293 and 359) and referral to Allied Mental Health Professionals

Referral for items 291, 293 and 359 should be through the general practitioner or participating nurse practitioner for the management of patients with mental illness. In the event that a specialist of another discipline wishes to refer a patient for this item the referral should take place through the GP or participating nurse practitioner.

In order to facilitate ongoing patient focussed management, an outcome tool will be utilised during the assessment and review stage of treatment, where clinically appropriate. The choice of outcome tools to be used is at the clinical discretion of the practitioner, however the following outcome tools are recommended:

- Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10)

- Short Form Health Survey (SF12)

- Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS)

Preparation of the management plan should be in consultation with the patient. If appropriate, a written copy of the management plan should be provided to the patient. A written copy of the management plan should be provided to the general practitioner within a maximum of two weeks of the assessment. It should be noted that two weeks is the outer limit and in more serious cases more prompt provision of the plan and verbal communication with the GP or participating nurse practitioner may be appropriate. A guide to the content of the report which should be provided to the GP or participating nurse practitioner under this item is included within this Schedule.

It is expected that item 291 will be a single attendance. However, there may be particular circumstances where a patient has been referred by a GP or participating nurse practitioner for an assessment and management plan, but it is not possible for the consultant psychiatrist to determine in the initial consultation whether the patient is suitable for management under such a plan. In these cases, where clinically appropriate, items 296, 297, 299 or 361 (for a new patient) or 300-308 (for continuing patients) may be used, and item 291 may be used subsequently, in those circumstances where the consultant psychiatrist undertakes a consultation (in accordance with the item requirements) prior to the consultation for providing the referring practitioner with an assessment and management plan. It is not intended that items 296, 297, 299, 361 or 300-308 will generally or routinely be used in conjunction with, or prior to, item 291.

Items 293 and 359 are available in instances where the GP or participating nurse practitioner initiates a review of the plan provided under item 291, usually where the current plan is not achieving the anticipated outcome. It is expected that when a plan is reviewed, any modifications necessary will be made.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) Referred Patient Assessment and Management Plan Guidelines

Note: This information is provided as a guide only and each case should be addressed according to a patient's individual needs. An electronic version of the Guidelines is available on the RANZCP website at www.ranzcp.org

REFERRED PATIENT ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT PLAN

Preliminary

- The following content outline is indicative of what would usually be sent back to GPs or participating nurse practitioner.

- The Management plan should address the specific questions and issues raised by the GP or participating nurse practitioner

- In most cases the patient is usually well known by the GP or participating nurse practitioner

History and Examination

This should focus on the presenting symptoms and current difficulties, including precipitating and ongoing stresses; and only briefly mention any relevant aspects of the patient's family history, developmental history, personality features, past psychiatric history and past medical history.

It should contain a comprehensive relevant Mental Status Examination and any relevant pathology results if performed.

It should summarise any psychological tests that were performed as part of the assessment.

Diagnosis

A diagnosis should be made either using ICD 10 or DSM IV classification. In some cases the diagnosis may differ from that stated by the GP or participating nurse practitioner, and an explanation of why the diagnosis differs should be included.

Psychiatric formulation

A brief integrated psychiatric formulation focussing on the biological, psychological and physical factors. Any precipitant and maintaining factors should be identified including relevant personality factors. Protective factors should also be noted. Issues of risk to the patient or others should be highlighted.

Management plan

1. Education - Include a list of any handout material available to help people understand the nature of the problem. This includes recommending the relevant RANZCP consumer and carer clinical practice guidelines. 

2. Medication recommendations - Give recommendations for immediate management including the alternatives or options. This should include doses, expected response times, adverse effects and interactions, and a warning of any contra-indicated therapies. 

3. Psychotherapy - Recommendations should be given on the most appropriate mode of psychotherapy required, such as supportive psychotherapy, cognitive and behavioural psychotherapy, family or relationship therapy or intensive explorative psychotherapy. This should include recommendations on who should provide this therapy.

4. Social measures - Identify issues which may have triggered or are contributing to the maintenance of the problem in the family, workplace or other social environment which need to be addressed, including suggestions for addressing them. 

5. Other non medication measures - This may include other options such as life style changes including exercise and diet, any rehabilitation recommendations, discussion of any complementary medicines, reading recommendations, relationship with other support services or agencies etc.

6. Indications for re-referral - It is anticipated that the majority of patients will be able to be managed effectively by the GP or participating nurse practitioner using the plan. If there are particular concerns about the possible need for further review, these should be noted.

7. Longer term management - Provide a longer term management plan listing alternative measures that might be taken in the future if the clinical situation changes. This might be articulated as a relapse signature and relapse drill, and should include drug doses and other indicated interventions, expected response times, adverse effects and interactions.

Initial Consultation for a NEW PATIENT (item 296 in rooms, item 297 at hospital, item 299 for home visits and 361 for telepsychiatry)

The rationale for items 296 - 299 and 361 is to improve access to psychiatric services by encouraging an increase in the number of new patients seen by each psychiatrist, while acknowledging that ongoing care of patients with severe mental illness is integral to the role of the psychiatrist. Referral for items 296 - 299 and 361 may be from a participating nurse practitioner, medical practitioner practising in general practice, a specialist or another consultant physician.

It is intended that either item 296, 297, 299 or 361 will apply once only for each new patient on the first occasion that the patient is seen by a consultant psychiatrist, unless the patient is referred by a medical practitioner practising in general practice or participating nurse practitioner for an assessment and management plan, in which case the consultant psychiatrist, if he or she agrees that the patient is suitable for management in a general practice setting, will use item 291 where an assessment and management plan is provided to the referring practitioner. 

There may be particular circumstances where a patient has been referred by a GP or participating nurse practitioner to a consultant psychiatrist for an assessment and management plan, but it is not possible for the consultant psychiatrist to determine in the initial consultation whether the patient is suitable for management under such a plan. In these cases, where clinically appropriate, item 296, 297, 299 or 361(for a new patient) or 300-308 (for continuing patients) may be used and item 291 may be used subsequently, in those circumstances where the consultant psychiatrist undertakes a consultation (in accordance with the item requirements) and provides the referring  practitioner with an assessment and management plan. It is not generally intended that item 296, 297, 299 or 361 will be used in conjunction with, or prior to, item 291.

Use of items 296 - 299 and 361 by one consultant psychiatrist does not preclude them being used by another consultant psychiatrist for the same patient. The use of items 296-299 and 361 are identical except for the location of where the service is rendered. That is item 296 is only available for consultations rendered in consulting rooms, item 297 is only available for consultations rendered  at a hospital, item 299 is only available for consultations rendered at a place other than consulting rooms or a hospital (such as in a patient’s home) and item 361 is for consultation rendered by telepsychiatry when a patient is located in a regional, rural or remote area.

 Items 300 - 308 are available for consultations in consulting rooms other than those provided under item 296, and items 291, 293 and 359. Similarly time tiered items remain available for hospital, home visits and telepsychiatry. These would cover a new course of treatment for patients who have already been seen by the consultant psychiatrist in the preceding 24 months as well as subsequent consultations for all patients.

Referral to Allied Mental Health Professionals (for new and continuing patients)

To increase the clinical treatment options available to psychiatrists and paediatricians for which a Medicare benefit is payable, patients with an assessed mental disorder (dementia, delirium, tobacco use disorder and mental retardation are not regarded as mental disorders for the purposes of these items) may be referred, to an allied mental health professional for a total of ten individual allied mental health services in a calendar year. The ten services may consist of: psychological therapy services (items 80000 to 80015) - provided by eligible clinical psychologists; and/or focussed psychological strategies - allied mental health services (items 80100 to 80115; 80125 to 80140; 80150 to 80165) - provided by eligible psychologists, occupational therapists and social workers.

Referrals from psychiatrists and paediatricians to an allied mental health professional must be made from eligible Medicare services. For specialist psychiatrists and paediatricians these services include any of the specialist attendance items 104 through 109. For consultant physician psychiatrists the relevant eligible Medicare services cover any of the consultant psychiatrist items 293 through 370; while for consultant physician paediatricians the eligible services are consultant physician attendance items 110 through 133.

Within the maximum service allocation of ten services, the allied mental health professional can provide one or more courses of treatment. For the purposes of these services, a course of treatment will consist of the number of services stated in the patient's referral (up to a maximum of six in any one referral). These services should be provided, as required, for an initial course of treatment (a maximum of six services but may be less depending on the referral and patient need) to a maximum of ten services per calendar year.

While such referrals are likely to occur for new patients seen under items 296 - 299 and 361, they are also available for patients at any point in treatment (from items 293 to 370), as clinically required, under the same arrangements and limitations as outlined above. The referral may be in the form of a letter or note to an eligible allied health professional signed and dated by the referring practitioner. 

Patients will also be eligible to claim up to ten services within a calendar year for group therapy services involving 6-10 patients to which items 80020 (psychological therapy - clinical psychologist), 80120 (focussed psychological strategies - psychologist), 80145 (focussed psychological strategies - occupational therapist) and 80170 (focussed psychological strategies - social worker) apply. These group services are separate from the individual services and do not count towards the ten individual services per calendar year maximum associated with those items.

Related Items: 291 293 296 297 299 359 361

Category 1 - PROFESSIONAL ATTENDANCES

AN.0.59

Telepsychiatry - (Items 353 to 370)

Telepsychiatry is defined as electronic transmission of psychiatric consultations, advice or services in digital form from one location to another using a data communication link provided by a third party carrier, or carriers. It requires the providers to comply with the International Telecommunications Union Standards which cover all types of videoconferencing from massive bandwidth to internet use. If X-rays are required for a psychiatric consultation then the consultant psychiatrist must comply with the DICOM Standards.

Support and Resourcing

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists encourages best practice in telepsychiatry and to this end has developed a Telepsychiatry Position Statement. To obtain a copy of this document and/or further information, assistance and support, practitioners are able to contact the College by email cpd@ranzcp.org or by visiting www.ranzcp.org.

Duration of Telepsychiatry Consultation

For items 353 to 358 the time provides a range of options equal to those provided in items 300 to 308 to allow for the appropriate treatment depending on the requirements of the treatment plan.

Number of Consultations in a Calendar Year

Items 353 to 358 may only be claimed for up to a maximum of 12 consultations in aggregate for each patient in a calendar year. Items 364 to 370 are to be claimed where face-to-face consultations are clinically indicated. Items 364 to 370 must be used to ensure that Medicare payments continue for further telepsychiatry consultations.

If the number of attendances in aggregate to which items 296 to 299, 300 to 308, 353 to 358 and 361 to 370 apply exceeds 50 for a single patient in any calendar year, any further attendances on that patient in that calendar year would be covered by items 310 to 318.

Documenting the Telepsychiatry Session

For items 353 to 370 the psychiatrist must keep a record of the treatment provided during an episode of care via telepsychiatry sessions or face-to-face consultations and must convey this in writing to the referring  practitioner after the first session and then, at a minimum, after every six consultations.

Geographical

Telepsychiatry items 353 to 361 are available for use when a referred patient is located in a regional, rural or remote area. A regional, rural or remote area is classified as a RRMA 3-7 area under the Rural Remote Metropolitan Areas classification system.

Referred Patient Assessment and Management Plan review (Item 359)

Referral for item 359 should be through the GP or participating nurse practitioner for the management of patients with mental illness. In the event that a specialist of another discipline wishes to refer a patient for this item the referral should take place through the GP or participating nurse practitioner. Item 359 is available in instances where the GP or participating nurse practitioner initiates a review of the management plan provided under item 291, usually where the current plan is not achieving the anticipated outcome. It is expected that when a plan is reviewed, any modifications necessary will be made.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) Referred Patient Assessment and Management Plan Guidelines` (Note: An electronic version of the Guidelines is available on the RANZCP website at www.ranzcp.org )

Initial Consultations for NEW PATIENTS (Item 361)

The rationale for item 361 is to improve access to psychiatric services by encouraging an increase in the number of new patients seen by each psychiatrist, while acknowledging that ongoing care of patients with severe mental illness is integral to the role of the psychiatrist. Referral for item 361 may be from a participating nurse practitioner, medical practitioner practising in general practice, a specialist or another consultant physician. It is intended that item 361 will apply once only for each new patient on the first occasion that the patient is seen by a consultant psychiatrist. It is not generally intended that item 361 will be used in conjunction with, or prior to, item 291.

The use of items 361 and 296-299 by one consultant psychiatrist does not preclude them being used by another consultant psychiatrist for the same patient.

Related Items: 353 355 356 357 358 359 361 364 366 367 369 370


Legend

  • Assist - Addition/Deletion of (Assist.)
  • Amend - Amended Description
  • Anaes - Anaesthetic Values Amended
  • Emsn - EMSN Change
  • Fee - Fee Amended
  • Renum - Item Number Change (renumbered)
  • New - New Item
  • NewMin - New Item (previous Ministerial Determination)
  • Qfe - QFE Change