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New Medicare items to fund allied health case conferencing

Medicare MBS Review Taskforce

New Medicare items have been introduced allowing allied health professionals, including optometrists and orthoptists, to be reimbursed for participating in case conferences to support people with chronic diseases or young children with developmental disorders like autism.

Federal Health Minister Mr Greg Hunt announced the new items had come into effect 1 November after the government committed $13.7 million in the 2021–22 Budget in response to recommendations to the MBS Review. It’s also hoped the measure will increase the number of doctor-led multidisciplinary case conferences in primary care.

Greg Hunt.

To date, Hunt said allied health professionals could take part in conferences but were unpaid.

Under the change, allied health professionals will be reimbursed 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 GP 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 children with pervasive developmental disorders, eligible professionals include: 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.

For chronic disease management: 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.

The new items numbers are:10995, 10957, 10959, 82001, 82002 and 82003.

More information can be found here.

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