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Dr Kate Brunton talks eating disorders and resources to assist GPs

27 February 2020

One of our HealthPathways GP clinical editors, Dr Kate Brunton, has provided more information regarding the resources and tools availabe to help GPs support their patients with eating disorders.

Currently around 4% of the Australian population is experiencing an eating disorder. This is close to one million people. Anorexia Nervosa has the highest death rate of all mental illnesses from both physical causes and suicide.

One of our HealthPathways GP clinical editors, Dr Kate Brunton, has provided more information regarding the resources and tools availabe to help GPs support their patients with eating disorders.

How do the new MBS items help patients?

New additions to the MBS in November 2019 support an evidenced based, best practice model of care for some patients with eating disorders. Under an Eating Disorder Plan, eligible patients can access up to 40 psychological sessions and 20 dietetic sessions in a 12 month period.

Resources to help GPs utilise the new MBS item numbers?

  •  HealthPathways has collaborated with the leading organisations in eating disorders to develop a comprehensive guide to the new item numbers. This easy to follow pathway, Eating Disorders Treatment and Management Plan will take you through every step required to assess patients eligibility, prepare the new plan and arrange all the relevant follows ups required for patients to be able to access the maximum number of services. Templates are included for the initial plan and reviews in formats that are compatible with Medical Director and Best Practice
  • A workshop Understanding Medicare Changes to Eating Disorders will be held to up-skill GPs on these changes including training requirements, billing items, appropriate referral pathways, clinical case studies and tips for optimal patient care

Other tools to help provide the best possible support to their patients?

  1. A fantastic GP resource checklist is available on the NBMPHN website including access to online learning tools.
  2. HealthPathways has also developed a comprehensive collection of clinical pathways for eating disorders, including, Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, PICA, Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, Severe and Enduring Eating Disorders and Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders (OSFED). And with up to date referral pathways GPs and health professionals in our region can now offers patients with eating disorders the treatment and support they need. Referral Pathways are Eating Disorder Support Services, Eating Disorder Advice and the Dietitian Services for adults.