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Better Access Telehealth frequently asked questions

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Publication date: 
March 2019
Publication type: 
Fact sheet
Intended audience: 
General public
Description: 

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?