How do the new Medicare Bushfire Recovery Medicare funded face-to-face sessions differ from current arrangements under Better Access?

Currently people need to have a GP mental health treatment plan and a diagnosed mental health condition to access the existing Better Access initiative. However, the Government has removed these restrictions for the new Medicare Bushfire Recovery items. To access the new Medicare rebated items you do not need to have a diagnosed mental health condition, GP referral or mental health treatment plan. This aims to ensure people can quickly access these services.

Under this measure, people affected by bushfires are able to self-refer to a psychologist. The new items are available to all people living in the community and there is no age restriction.

Individuals who currently access services under the Better Access initiative and were directly affected by the bushfires, will be able to access the additional 10 sessions under the Bushfire Recovery items.

What is the Medicare Bushfire Recovery Telehealth initiative?

People affected by the bushfires, who do not have access to face-to-face Medicare Bushfire Recovery Sessions, are able to claim rebates for video consultations. You do not need to have a diagnosed mental health condition, GP referral or mental health treatment plan.

How long will the Medicare Bushfire Recovery services be

available?

The services are available for two years until 31 December 2021. People can access the immediate counselling and GP bushfire telehealth items now. People can access the full package of services from 17 January 2020.

How to use the funding to access VCPS services?

Book online below or contact the VCPS Intake team to find out further information or to book in a consultation with one of our practitioners. You can contact our Intake team directly on (03) 9067 8810.

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