MEDICARE REBATES

Better Access to Mental Health (BAMH)

Helping Children With Autism (HCWA)

Chronic Disease Management Plan

Non-Directive Pregnancy Counselling

Better Access to Mental Health (BAMH)

Where eligible, rebates are provided by Medicare if you are referred to the Psychologist under a Mental Health Care Plan

To access mental health treatment under Medicare you must be referred by your GP, a psychiatrist or a paediatrician. If a GP is the referring practitioner he or she will need to prepare a Mental Health Treatment Plan before referring you to a psychologist. You should book a longer session with your GP to enable time for this.

Under the Better Access initiative, eligible people can receive up to 10 individual sessions in a calendar year (1 January to 31 December). 

Referrals cannot be provided for the full 10 sessions. A referral is for a maximum of six sessions. Your referring doctor will assess your progress after the first six sessions and determine whether further sessions are needed.

Helping Children With Autism (HCWA) 
For children who have, or are suspected of having, an autism spectrum disorder.

 

Under the government funded Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) initiative Medicare rebates are available for assessment and treatment services for children and young people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Assessment and treatment can be provided by a number of eligible allied health professionals under this initiative.

Assessment services are available up until the child’s 13th birthday, and treatment services are available up until a child turns 15 years of age, provided their treatment plan was in place before their 13th birthday.

Before a psychologist can undertake an assessment, the young person must have been referred for assessment by a paediatrician or consultant psychiatrist.

Under this initiative, up to four assessment sessions provided by a psychologist and other allied health professionals are available to assist the referring practitioner with diagnosis, or to contribute to a child’s treatment and management plan.

In addition, up to 20 treatment sessions provided by a psychologist and other allied health professionals are available.

It is important to note that these are the total number of services available to each child through HCWA – not an annual entitlement.

Chronic Disease Management Plan (CDM)

For people who have a chronic medical condition that has been (or is likely to be) present for six months or longer, for example, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal conditions and stroke. There is no list of eligible conditions. However, the CDM items are designed for patients who require a structured approach and to enable GPs to plan and coordinate the care of patients with complex conditions requiring ongoing care from a multidisciplinary team. 

Your GP will decide whether you would benefit from these services and, if so, will refer you for appropriate allied health services. Allied health services must be provided by eligible providers who are registered with Medicare Australia.

Medicare rebate for a maximum of five allied health services per patient each calendar year from eligible providers including:

  • Psychologist

  • Credentialed Mental Health Nurse

  • Occupational Therapist

  • Speech Pathologists

Non-directive pregnancy counselling

This is a form of counselling based on the understanding that, in many situations, people can resolve their own problems without being provided with a solution by the counsellor.

The service involves the counsellor undertaking a safe, confidential process that helps the patient explore concerns they have about a pregnancy. This includes providing unbiased, evidence-based information about all options and services available to the patient, where requested.

The service can address all pregnancy-related issues for which non-directive counselling is appropriate. 

An eligible person’s partner may attend counselling sessions, however, only one fee (for the patient) applies to each service.

 

Who can provide these services?

Services can be provided by psychologists, social workers and mental health nurses on referral from a GP, where the practitioners are registered with Medicare Australia as meeting the eligibility criteria and having completed appropriate non-directive pregnancy counselling training:

  • Mental health nurses must be a ‘Credentialled Mental Health Nurse’ as certified by the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN).