Better Access Information for 2023

Posted on 22 December 2022

We have received the following information from the Department of Health.

Clients do not need a new referral to access Better Access sessions from 1 January 2023. 

Where clients have a referral for the additional 10 sessions and have not used any or all sessions before 31 December 2022, they can use that referral to access any unused sessions in 2023 without returning to their referring practitioner. Sessions accessed in 2023 will count towards their maximum session allocation for that year. This aligns with current arrangements for the rollover of Better Access sessions across calendar years. 

Consistent with long-standing Better Access arrangements, clients can access up to six sessions in a course of treatment. Clients using a referral for the additional 10 sessions will therefore be able to access up to six sessions before returning to their referring practitioner, who will assess their need for further services and issue the appropriate referral for a subsequent course of treatment. Where the client has fewer than six unused sessions remaining on the 2022 referral, the allied mental health practitioner can provide the number of unused services remaining on the referral only, after which the patient should return to their referring practitioner for review. 

Reporting requirements for allied health mental health professionals are also aligned with initial Better Access arrangements. This means a report is required to be sent to the patient’s referring practitioner at the conclusion of the course of treatment, as defined above.

Please ensure you use the initial 10 Better Access item numbers. A client factsheet is available here.