MBS psychiatry item number changes from 1 March 2024 (Australia)

The Australian Department of Health and Aged Care (DoHAC) has confirmed that, as part of the Federal Budget Measure 2023–2024, amendments will be made to Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) psychiatry item numbers from 1 March 2024 to implement the changes endorsed by the MBS Review Taskforce recommended by the Psychiatry Clinical Committee (PCC). 

Key changes include:

  • An increase for the ECT schedule fee from $74.55 to $162.55 
  • Introduction of three new time-tiered items for psychiatrists to consult with people close to patients (usually families) and increasing the number of these services available to 15 per year (available via face-to-face, video, or telephone) 
  • Amendments to the wording of item 319 to allow use where the formulation of the patient’s clinical presentation indicates intensive psychotherapy is a clinically appropriate and indicated treatment, removing the requirements for specific disorders or level of functioning
  • Amending the item descriptors for items 291 and 293 to strengthen the intent of these items and provide further clarity to providers regarding this intention
  • Clarification that inclusion of under 12-month-old infant (with a valid referral) can be considered a patient for group therapy item 346. 

DoHAC will provide further information through factsheets in due course. 

These changes are the result of long-term advocacy by the College – thank you to all members who have contributed to this work over many years to secure these positive changes for private psychiatry.  

Please contact policy@ranzcp.org for further information. 

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