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Mind Screen Matters - Industry Update

Mind Screen in RACFamily Physician's Good Practice Publication 
You may also have noticed the Mind Screen was mentioned on page 12 of the RACFamily Physician's March 2011 edition of Good Practice. We believe this is a reflection of the increased acceptance by Family Physicians of online assessment or outcome tools. In our daily conversations with Family Physicians (and psychologists) around the country, we have noticed a more open minded attitude to online assessment. With new practitioners registering their centers with Mind Screen every week we know there has been more than just an attitude change amongst practitioners. Family Physicians, psychologists and psychiatrists are all now adopting the Mind Screen in greater numbers as they learn how it can increase the quality of their initial consultation and the quality of their Family Physician Mental Health Treatment Plan. We would like to think the RACFamily Physician article also reflects the increasing support of College members for the Mind Screen. About 70% of Mind Screen registered practitioners are Family Physicians, about 25% are registered, clinical or organizational psychologists and the remainder are psychiatrists. We now have Mind Screen registered practitioners in every state and territory in the country. If you have any colleagues who you know are passionate about making a difference to the behavioral health of their patients, then please refer them to the Mind Screen.

Mind Screen Compliance with Better Access Medicare Rebates 2710 and 2712 
Some recently registered Mind Screen practitioners have asked us whether the Mind Screen is an eligible outcome tool to use as a pre-requisite to claiming Family Physician Mental Health Treatment Plan Medicare rebates 2710 and 2712. The short answer is: "Yes it is". As has been the case since the start of Better Access in November 2006, the Department of Health and Ageing does not have a list of eligible or ineligible behavioral health outcome tools which can and can't be used. The Mind Screen is just as eligible as the K10, the BDI, the EPDS or other single disorder tools. The only difference is that the Mind Screen covers multiple behavioral health disorders and it generates an automated Family Physician Mental Health Treatment Plan template that you, the practitioner, can easily complete together with your patient. In fact, psychologists who use the Mind Screen tell us the Family Physicians who refer to them using the Mind Screen are completing much higher quality treatment plans than those who are handwriting their treatment plans. The Mind Screen's online Family Physician Mental Health Treatment Plan template fully complies with the Department of Health and Ageing's template. If you have any questions about the Mind Screen and claiming 2710 and 2712 Family Physician Mental Health Treatment Plan rebates, please don't hesitate to ask at: info@globalmindscreen.com.au

Challenging the Status Quo
Have you noticed the increase in the number of behavioral health related articles in Australian newspapers over the last fortnight? Two in particular really struck a chord with the team at Global Mind Screen Group. The first, by Kate Legge, was in The Australian on Saturday 19 March and the second by Melissa Fyfe was in the Sunday Age, 20 March 2011. Both articles, while very different, were also similar in that they both questioned the status quo.

Kate Legge's article "Breaking the Silence" describes the response to a February 28, 2011 article about Professor McGorry's demand for a radical rethink on the prevention of suicide. It states, "The response was enormous, with an overwhelming majority applauding his call to end the stigma and silence of suicide with well resourced public awareness campaigns modeled on the highly successful road-toll strategy". The piece goes on to give examples from ordinary Australians, polititians and high profile Australians of their experience with the stigma of suicide. Press Council president Julian Disney is preparing to review the media's handling of suicide. He speaks of a need "...to 're-examine the status quo". It is an emotional behavioral health article which gives powerful testimonies endorsing a new approach.

Melissa Fyfe's article "More cash for behavioral health call" is similar to many we in the industry have all read over the last 8 months about whether the Labour Government will actually deliver on its promise to make behavioral health a priority in its second term. Like many previous articles on the topic this one also referred to calls to increase behavioral health spend by billions of dollars over the next four years. Where this article differs from earlier articles is that Ministerial Expert Group advisors, including Monsignor David Cappo, and Professors Patrick McGorry, Ian Hickie and Alan Fels "... believe the government can save $1 billion by transforming the popular Medicare program" (referring to the Better Access program which is likely to cost $3 billion over the next budget period. The experts' budget request covers a boost in early-intervention programs, better accountability and more. They speak of a new approach and are clearly increasing the pressure on the Commonwealth to deliver in the May budget.

The Mind Screen behavioral health assessment tool is the embodiment of a 'new approach'. It is a paradigm change in the way behavioral health is assessed and will boost early-intervention in primary care. Global Mind Screen Group has written to Minister Mark Butler about the Mind Screen and will continue to recommend the Mind Screen as a way for the Government to save tens of millions of dollars per annum all the while increasing access to early assessment in primary care and leading to better patient outcomes. We will continue to lobby the Commonwealth and State Governments to encourage early, multi-disorder assessment in primary care and we will endeavor to keep you posted on how these diskussions go.

Thank you to all of you for your continued support of the Mind Screen and for making a real difference to the quality of your patients' behavioral health outcomes. To our experienced Mind Screen practitioners, please feel free to recommend the Mind Screen to your colleagues, particularly those who understand the importance of early, multi-disorder assessment. If they don't - explain the importance to them! To those Mind Screen practitioners who have recently registered and those who registered but then 'got too busy to do my demo sessions' please don't hesitate to email info@globalmindscreen.com.au to ask for a refresher phone demo to get reacquainted with the Mind Screen. To all of you, please help us get greater exposure by following us on Facebook and Twitter and together we will make early, multi-disorder assessment the status quo! 

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