New Medicare items will encourage eligible health providers to work together more closely to support the health of vulnerable Australians.
From today, allied health professionals will – for the first time – be reimbursed through Medicare for taking part in case conferences to support people with chronic diseases or young children with developmental disorders like autism.
To date, allied health professionals could take part but were unpaid. These additional items will improve care coordination and deliver better outcomes to patients with complex needs who have multiple care providers.
Working together, health care teams can make an enormous difference to the diagnosis, treatment and ongoing care of many vulnerable Australians.
The Morrison Government committed $13.7 million in the 2021–22 Budget to create the new Medicare items – in response to recommendations to the MBS Review – which will also increase the number of doctor-led multidisciplinary case conferences in primary care.
Under the change, allied health professionals will be paid to attend multidisciplinary conferences held by the patient’s regular doctor – in person, via video conference or phone –to discuss diagnosis, care and treatment plans.
The new items are for eligible allied health professionals participating in multidisciplinary case conferences for people with chronic disease under the care of a General Practitioner as part of Team Care Arrangements, as well as children aged under 13 years under the care of a specialist, consultant physician or GP to provide early diagnosis and treatment of autism or any other pervasive developmental disorders.
For chronic disease management, eligible professionals include: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners and health workers, audiologists, chiropractors, diabetes educators, dietitians, exercise physiologists, mental health workers, occupational therapists, osteopaths, physiotherapists, podiatrists, psychologists and speech pathologists.
For children with pervasive developmental disorders: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners and health workers, audiologists, mental health nurses, mental health workers, occupational therapists, optometrists, orthoptists, physiotherapists, psychologists and speech pathologists can take part.
More information can be found on MBS Online.