New Medicare Items For Autism Spectrum Disorders
The Commonwealth Government will provide $190 million over five years to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, their parents and carers.
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PDF printable version of New Medicare Items For Autism Spectrum Disorders (PDF 31 KB)
3 October 2007
The Prime Minister has today announced that the Commonwealth Government will provide $190 million in funding over five years to assist children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), their parents and carers.
This funding includes $20.7 million over five years for new Medicare items for the diagnosis of ASD and early intervention treatment plans by clinicians and allied health professionals.
Specifically, these will include:
- new specialist Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items for paediatricians and child psychiatrists for diagnosis and the development of treatment plans for children aged up to 12 years;
- new items for developmental psychologists and speech pathologists to assist with aspects of the assessment; and
- access to Medicare items for the provision of early intervention treatment following diagnosis for children with ASD, providing up to 20 services per child. The new services will be provided by relevant allied health professionals including speech pathologists and occupational therapists.
Treatment plans will identify the specific treatment needs of each child in relation to early intervention services available through the Government’s autism package and through other public, private and community based services.
Prompt and accurate diagnosis of children with ASD means that children can gain most benefit from treatment and support in their critical early years. These items should improve early and accurate diagnosis of ASD as well as improve access to early intervention to help children with ASD.
Details of the new Medicare items will be developed in close consultation with members of the relevant health professional organisations as well as representatives of the autism sector. The new items will be available from 1 July 2008.
For more information call Mr Abbott's office on ph 02 6277 7220.
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