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Models of psychological service provision under Australia's Better Outcomes in Mental Health Care program

Jane Pirkis, Philip Burgess, Fay Kohn, Belinda Morley, Grant Blashki, Lucio Naccarella
Australian Health Review: a Publication of the Australian Hospital Association 2006, 30 (3): 277-85
16879086
The Access to Allied Psychological Services component of Australia's Better Outcomes in Mental Health Care program enables eligible general practitioners to refer consumers to allied health professionals for affordable, evidence-based mental health care, via 108 projects conducted by Divisions of General Practice. The current study profiled the models of service delivery across these projects, and examined whether particular models were associated with differential levels of access to services. We found: 76% of projects were retaining their allied health professionals under contract, 28% via direct employment, and 7% some other way; Allied health professionals were providing services from GPs' rooms in 63% of projects, from their own rooms in 63%, from a third location in 42%; and The referral mechanism of choice was direct referral in 51% of projects, a voucher system in 27%, a brokerage system in 24%, and a register system in 25%. Many of these models were being used in combination. No model was predictive of differential levels of access, suggesting that the approach of adapting models to the local context is proving successful.

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