Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) case conferences (Australia)

MBS changes to facilitate mental health case conferences for patients being treated under the Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the MBS (Better Access) initiative or an eating disorder treatment and management plan (EDTMP) commenced on 1 July 2023. 

There are 21 new MBS items for eligible providers to organise and coordinate or participate in case conferences to discuss a patient’s mental health care, where:

  • the patient has been referred for Better Access services or has an active EDTMP
  • a GP, other medical practitioner (OMP), consultant psychiatrist or consultant paediatrician organises and coordinates the case conference,
  • at least two other members of the multidisciplinary case conference team attend the case conference, and
  • the patient agrees to the case conference taking place and to the participation of all practitioners in the conference.

Further information on the new and amended MBS items is available in the Mental Health Case Conferencing Factsheet.  

Item numbers that can be used by psychiatrists are 946, 948, 959 (for case conference organisation) and 961, 962, 964 (for case conference participation). 

The RANZCP provided feedback on these proposed changes in a submission to the Department of Health and Aged Care in January 2023, which advised there may be challenges to the usability of these item numbers in practice. The Department has advised that it will continue to consider this feedback post-implementation, as part of the ongoing monitoring of these MBS items, and broader work being undertaken to reform the mental health system. 

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