Treatment cycle information for allied health providers

Last updated: 
28 July 2020

The treatment cycle aims to improve the quality of care for our clients by supporting better coordination and communication between general practitioners (GPs), allied health providers and clients.

The allied health treatment cycle

Known as the treatment cycle, this is a way to refer our clients to allied health providers. A referral to an allied health provider will last either 12 sessions or 1 year, whichever ends first. Clients can have as many treatment cycles as their GP decides are clinically necessary. These arrangements ensure the health care is the most appropriate for our client’s needs.

Our client's GP will be their care coordinator. You will work with our client and their GP to help our client:

  • meet their treatment goals
  • receive the best treatment available

The image is a pictorial representation of the treatment cycle, which is described by the preceeding text.

Before treatment

Our client will talk with their GP, who will prepare a referral. 

The referral should specify the condition or conditions for you to treat.

Our client can have as many treatment cycles as the GP recommends. This may include more than one allied health service at the same time.

During treatment

When treatment starts, ask our client about their health goals and make a Patient Care Plan.

You can use your clinical notes as a Patient Care Plan as long as it contains: 

  • provider name and number of the referring health care provider
  • date of the referral and date of initial consultation
  • condition(s) being treated or reason for referral
  • patient goals
  • the planned treatment regimen, including treatment modality, the anticipated type, number and frequency of services
  • where relevant, list details of any aids and appliances the patient requires
  • the expected outcomes or results of the treatment regimen for the entitled person plus proposed timelines
  • objective assessment results based on the use of validated outcome measurement and diagnosis of the condition(s)
  • a record of the entitled person’s agreement to the Personal Care Plan

You may notice other health conditions that weren’t included in the referral. If this happens, tell the GP and include details in the plan.

If our client has had a long break between treatments, you may require another referral. Our client will need to go back to their GP and request a new referral.

After treatment

Once the treatment has finished, prepare an end of cycle report and send it to the GP.

The end of cycle report needs to include all the conditions you have been treating.

It needs to cover at least 2 sessions, the initial consultation plus one other.

You can send the end of cycle report to the GP after 8 sessions instead of 12 if our client either:

  • has treatment appointments close together
  • lives in a remote area

If another health professional sent you the referral, send the end of cycle report to them plus a copy to the GP.

You can recommend that our client continues to see you for their treatment.

When the treatment cycle does not apply

The treatment cycle does not apply to clients with a Totally and Permanently Incapacitated (TPI) Gold Card when you refer them to either:

  • physiotherapy
  • exercise physiology services

The treatment cycle will apply if you refer a TPI client to other allied health services, such as:

  • occupational therapy
  • podiatry
  • psychology

When the treatment cycle is unsuitable for your patient

Some clients may benefit from a more tailored referral arrangement specific to their needs. This is done through the At Risk Client Framework.

A client may benefit from the At Risk Client Framework if they have all or some of the following factors:

  • complex psychosocial factors
  • severe health needs
  • severe functional impairment 

Under the framework, clients can have tailored arrangements for 3, 6 or 12 months. These must be requested by the GP. 

More information

More information is available in the following documents:

How to claim

We will pay you $30 (excl GST) to prepare an end of cycle report. You can find the item number on our fee schedules. You can claim through Medicare.

Resources and publications

Visit Allied Health Professionals for up to date Notes for Allied Health Providers. Fee schedules are available at the Dental and Allied Health fee schedules page.