Better Access Telehealth frequently asked questions

This document is about the Better Access Telehealth initiative. It answers questions about the option for patients with mental illness in rural and remote areas to access video consultations.


Better Access Telehealth frequently asked questions

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Fact sheet
General public

Eligible patients in rural and remote locations can claim Medicare rebates for video consultations under the Better Access initiative.

This document answers the following questions: 

  • What is the Better Access Telehealth initiative?
  • When will the initiative commence?
  • What is a telehealth eligible area?
  • Why is this new initiative needed?
  • Who will benefit from the Better Access Telehealth initiative?
  • What services will be available?
  • Does Medicare cover video consultations for groups?
  • Can a person access services from their current Better Access provider via telehealth?
  • How will potential patients become aware of clinicians offering video consultations?
  • How many consultations are funded through Medicare?
  • Will more than ten sessions be available via telehealth in exceptional circumstances?
  • What is Better Access?
  • How does the Better Access Telehealth initiative differ from current Better Access arrangements?
  • Must a video link be provided or is telephone only consultation sufficient?
  • Can Medicare telehealth benefits be paid if the session is conducted via online chat box/messaging?
  • Will telehealth consultation be suitable for all patients requiring psychological counselling?
  • Where can I find more information?
  • Does Medicare cover short-term telehealth sessions for patients who briefly travel overseas?
  • Are there any changes to Medicare payment claiming processes that apply to Better Access telehealth services?
  • Can the Telehealth for rural and remote patients be accessed by young people 12 - 25 years old?
  • As a provider of the former Access to Allied Psychological Services or Psychological Therapy Services available through Primary Health Networks (PHN), will telehealth sessions be available under the PHN gap free sessions?

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