Covid 19 Telehealth Psychology Service
From 13 March 2020 to 30 September 2020 (inclusive), new temporary MBS telehealth items have been made available to help reduce the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 and provide protection for patients and health care providers.
From 30 March to 30 September 2020 all Australians eligible to receive services under Medicare will be able to access psychological services delivered via telehealth (i.e., videoconference or phone) if clinically appropriate.
What are the changes?
As part of the Australian Government’s response to COVID-19, new temporary MBS telehealth items have been introduced to help patients access health services by videoconference or telephone. These new items will substitute current face to face consultations normally available under Medicare.
Why are the changes being made?
The new temporary MBS telehealth items will allow people to access essential health services remotely and reduce their risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Who is eligible?
All Medicare cardholders are now eligible to access the new temporary MBS telehealth items for a range of consultations. The new temporary MBS telehealth items will be available until 30 September 2020.
How do I make a telehealth appointment?
When making an appointment with your health professional, you could indicate that you would like your consultation performed via telehealth. Your health professional may also offer any of your existing appointments as a telehealth consultation.
What telehealth options are available?
Videoconference services are the preferred approach for substituting a face-to-face consultation. However, health practitioners will also be able to offer audio-only services via telephone if video is not available.
Patients can now access telehealth consultations with:
- General Practitioners;
- Specialists (Psychiatrists and Surgeons among others);
- Social workers;
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners;
and - Other Medical Practitioners (for more information please visit http://www.mbsonline.gov.au).
Clients who have already obtained a valid GP Mental Health Treatment Plan do not need a new care plan under the new arrangments.
New clients have to obtain a valid referral from their medical practitioner to access psychology services under the new arramgement.
All MBS items for psychological therapy and focused psychological strategies attendances by allied health providers require a valid referral. A patient must be referred by: (i) a medical practitioner, either as part of a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan, or as part of a shared care plan or as part of a psychiatrist assessment and management plan; or (ii) a specialist or consultant physician specialising in the practice of his or her field of psychiatry; or (iii) a specialist or consultant physician specialising in the practice of his or her field of paediatrics.