Update on removal of restrictive MBS requirements and new item numbers

18 April 2020

Overnight the Minister for Health issued new legislation which provides for psychiatrists and other medical specialists to choose to bulk-bill or patient-bill a wider range of MBS telehealth consultations in Australia.

New additional psychiatry telehealth and phone service items for group psychotherapy and family therapy services (equivalent to MBS items 342, 344, 346) were also announced.

These measures will come into effect on Monday 20 April.

In a statement accompanying the legislation, the Minister specifically acknowledged the feedback and advocacy of the RANZCP and other medical colleges and professional societies for these changes.

The College has welcomed the expansion of the Government’s health care package to protect more patients, families and clinicians from COVID-19. It also ensures the continued viability of psychiatry and other clinical services under Medicare.

An update to the Government’s MBSOnline page is anticipated to be available early next week and the College will then include links and updated FAQs for Members on the College’s COVID-19 information hub.

For more information, the amended legislation can be viewed on the Australian Government Register of Federal Legislation.