Data source

Medicare Benefits Schedule data

The MBS data presented relate to services provided on a fee-for-service basis for which MBS benefits were paid. The year is determined from the date the service was processed by Medicare, rather than the date the service was provided. The state or territory is determined according to the postcode of the patient’s mailing address at the time of making the claim. In some cases, this will not be the same as the postcode of the patient’s residential address. To avoid double counting, patient counts for demographic characteristics (e.g. sex, age, postcode etc.) are derived from the last service processed in the reference period.

The Department of Human Services collects data on the activity of all persons making claims through the Medicare Benefits Scheme and provides this information to the Department of Health. Information collected includes the type of service provided (MBS item number) and the benefit paid by Medicare for the service. The item numbers and benefits paid by Medicare are based on the Medicare benefits schedule book   (DOH 2018). Services that are not included in the MBS are not included in the data. The table below lists all MBS items that have been defined as mental health-specific. 

Data source MBS.1: Medicare-subsidised mental health-related items
Provider type Item group MBS Group & Subgroup MBS item numbers
Psychiatrists Initial consultation new patient Group A8 296, 297, 299
Patient attendances—consulting room Group A8 291, 293, 300, 302, 304, 306, 308, 310, 312, 314, 316, 318, 319 
Patient attendances—hospital Group A8 320, 322, 324, 326, 328 
Patient attendances—other locations Group A8 330, 332, 334, 336, 338
Group psychotherapy Group A8 342, 344, 346
Interview with non‑patient Group A8 348, 350, 352
Telepsychiatry Group A8 288, 353, 355, 356, 357, 358, 359, 361, 364, 366, 367, 369, 370 
Case conferencing   855, 857, 858, 861, 864, 866 
Electroconvulsive therapy Group T1, Subgroup 13 14224
Referred consultation for assessment, diagnosis and development of a treatment and management plan for autism or any other pervasive developmental disorder
(PDD)
Group A8 289
General practitioners GP Mental Health Treatment Plan—accredited Group A20, Subgroup 1

2710(a), 2715, 2717

GP Mental Health Treatment Plan—non-accredited Group A20, Subgroup 1 2700, 2701, 2702(a)
GP Mental Health Treatment Plan—other Group A20, Subgroup 1 2712, 2713,
2719(a)
Focussed Psychological Strategies Group A20, Subgroup 2 2721, 2723, 2725, 2727
Family Group Therapy Group A6 170, 171, 172
Electroconvulsive therapy Group T10 20104
3 Step Mental Health Process—GP(a) Group A18, Subgroup 4 2574, 2575, 2577, 2578
3 Step Mental Health Process—other
medical professional(a)
Group A19, Subgroup 4 2704, 2705, 2707, 2708
Clinical psychologists Psychological Therapy Services Group M6 80000, 80001, 80005, 80010, 80011, 80015, 80020, 80021 
Psychologists including clinical psychologists  Enhanced Primary Care Group M3 10968
Focussed Psychological Strategies (Allied Mental
Health)
Group M7 80100, 80101, 80105, 80110, 80111, 80115, 80120, 80121 
Assessment and treatment of PDD Group A10 82000, 82015
Follow-up allied health service for Indigenous
Australians
Group M11 81355
Other allied health providers Enhanced Primary Care—mental health worker Group M3 10956
Focussed Psychological Strategies (Allied Mental Health)—occupational therapist Group M7 80125, 80126, 80130, 80135, 80136, 80140, 80145, 80146 
Focussed Psychological Strategies (Allied Mental Health)—social worker(a) Group M7 80150, 80151, 80155, 80160, 80161, 80165, 80170, 80171 
Follow-up allied health services for Indigenous
Australians—mental health worker
Group M11 81325

(a) Item\ discontinued

(b) Item numbers have differing implementation and discontinuation dates. Details are available in the Medical Benefits Schedule books.

Provider type important notes:

  • General practitioners includes services provided by Medical practitioners, including General practitioners, but excluding specialists or consultant physicians. 
  • Clinical psychologist includes item numbers that can only be claimed by eligible Clinical psychologists.
  • Other psychologist includes item numbers that can be claimed by any eligible psychologist, clinical and other. The proportion of activity claimed against these items by Clinical psychologists has not been estimated in the presented data. That is, the services rendered by Clinical psychologists will be present in both the Clinical psychologist and Other psychologist categories.

Psychiatrist items—pre 1996

Restructuring of Group A8 items occurred as of 1 November 1996. Item numbers 134, 136, 138, 140 and 142 were discontinued as of 31 Oct 1996. Historical Psychiatrist data includes services claimed against these item numbers.


References

DoH (Department of Health) 2018. Medicare Benefits Schedule Book, effective 01 December 2018. Viewed on 01 April 2019.