Key concepts

Medicare-subsidised mental health-related services
Key concept Description
Medicare-subsidised general practitioner (GP) services Medicare-subsidised general practitioner (GP) services are services provided by medical practitioners who are vocationally registered under Section 3F of the Health Insurance Act 1973, or are Fellows of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners or trainees for vocational registration.
Medicare-subsidised other allied mental health services Medicare-subsidised other allied mental health services are services provided by other allied mental health professionals such as occupational therapists, social workers and mental health nurses. These services cover focussed psychological strategies—allied mental health (occupational therapist and social worker items) and enhanced primary care—allied health (mental health worker item). Mental health workers include Aboriginal health workers, mental health nurses, occupational therapists and some social workers as well as psychologists. Although some psychologists are covered by this item they cannot be readily separated from the other mental health workers covered, so this item is counted under the heading of other allied mental health services. The data source section lists these item groups and MBS item numbers. For Medicare payments to be made on these items the provider (occupational therapist, social worker or other appropriate provider) must be registered with Medicare Australia as meeting the credentialing requirements for provision of the service.
Medicare‑subsidised psychiatrist services Medicare‑subsidised psychiatrist services services are services provided by a psychiatrist (or, for electroconvulsive therapy, by either a psychiatrist or another medical practitioner together with an anaesthetist) on a fee-for-service basis that are partially or fully funded under the Australian Government’s Medicare program. These services cover patient attendances (or consultations) provided in different settings as well as services such as group psychotherapy, telepsychiatry, case conferences and electroconvulsive therapy. These item groups along with the relevant MBS item numbers are listed in the data source section. Note that for items in the range 291 to 370 (MBS Group A8) and 855 to 866 (Case conference—consultant psychiatrist) only medical practitioners who are recognised as psychiatrists for the purposes of the Health Insurance Act 1973 are eligible to provide services attracting an MBS subsidy. 
Medicare-subsidised psychologist services

Medicare-subsidised psychologist services are services provided by psychologists that are rebatable by Medicare through psychological therapy services, focussed psychological strategies and enhanced primary care items. The data source section lists these item groups with the relevant MBS item numbers. For these items to be eligible for Medicare rebates, the provider must meet the following eligibility requirements and be registered with Medicare Australia.

Medicare rebates for psychological therapy services are only available for services provided by clinical psychologists who are fully registered in the relevant jurisdiction and are members of, or eligible for membership with, the Australian Psychological Society’s College of Clinical Psychologists. Clinical membership is only available for registered psychologists who have completed the standard 4 years of study in psychology and attained an accredited doctorate degree in clinical psychology or master’s degree in clinical psychology with 1 year of supervised post-masters clinical psychology experience. 

Medicare rebates for focussed psychological strategies and enhanced primary care are available for services provided by psychologists who are fully registered in the relevant jurisdiction regardless of any specialist clinical training. Registered psychologists must complete the standard 4 years of study in psychology with an additional 2 years of supervised practice, postgraduate coursework or a research degree, and meet any other jurisdiction-specific requirement for registration.