The key findings from Chapter 7 are presented for each of the research questions explored:

What is the distribution of uptake and service use across different combinations of MBS Better Access items?

  • People using Better Access services were most commonly provided these services by GPs alone (44.9% of consumers) or by combinations of Better Access items involving GPs and allied health professionals only (39.7%).

Do patterns of interdisciplinary care vary according to socio–demographic characteristics?

  • Overall, interdisciplinary Better Access care was received by 55.1% of all Better Access users.

  • The cumulative rate of interdisciplinary Better Access care over the period covered by the December 2006 quarter to the March 2009 quarter was 39.7 per 1,000 total population; the cumulative rate of Better Access care was 72.0 per 1,000 total population.

  • Receipt of interdisciplinary Better Access care varied according to gender, age and region. Most notably, compared to the average across all Better Access consumers, rates of interdisciplinary care were 15% lower in other rural areas and 33% lower in remote areas.

  • Rates of interdisciplinary care also decreased as level of socio–economic disadvantage increased. Specifically, rates of interdisciplinary care were 13% higher among people in the least disadvantaged areas, and 13% lower among people from the most disadvantaged areas, compared to Better Access consumers overall.