COVID-19 BILLING AND FEES
Information updated 21 May 2020; and subject to change.
MEDICARE PATIENTS – UNDER GP MENTAL HEALTH CARE PLANS (GP MHCP)
CHANGES IN BILLING AND FEES:
On 13 March 2020, Medicare (MBS – Medicare Benefits Schedule) introduced temporary Telehealth item codes (phone calls and/or video conferencing) for Australians to access mental health care. This was a new service as Telehealth was originally set up for those in remote areas, meaning Medicare did not provide rebates for Telehealth consultations.
On 6 April 2020, the Department of Health allowed psychologists to apply their usual billing practices (ie, charging a co-payment / gap fee ) to some clients. This meant that psychologists were allowed to charge a gap fee for all non-concession card holders who were NOT in the vulnerable and isolated category. However, Leah offered a reduced fee commencing 13 April 2020.
From 20 April 2020, the Department of Health advised that all of the mandated bulk billing restrictions on the Medicare items for COVID-19 Telehealth services have been removed for all psychologists. This means that it is no longer a requirement that psychologists bulk bill or offer reduced fees. However, Leah continued to offer a reduced fee commencing 27 April 2020 that will be made valid until 31 May 2020. Details are as follows:
Current Patients (already seeing Leah)
Concession Card Holder: the gap fee is $20.
Non Concession Card Holders: the gap fee is $40.
New Patients (seeing Leah for the first time from 20 April 2020) will have the following fees:
Concession Card Holder:
Upfront fee - $176.50 (initial session = $50 gap fee) and $146.50 (subsequent sessions = $20 gap fee)
Non Concession Card Holders:
Upfront fee - $196.50 (initial session = $70 gap fee) and $166.50 (subsequent sessions = $40 gap fee)
From 1 June 2020, fees will return to usual billing practices - see FEES tab for full details. If you have extenuating circumstances, please discuss with Leah who will make fee decisions on a case by case basis.
Work Cover Qld (Work Safe Queensland) – approval of Telehealth for all patients:
Victim Services NSW – approval of Telehealth for all patients
Work Cover Victoria (Work Safe Victoria) – up to the individual insurer to confirm
Work Cover NSW (SIRA) – up to the individual insurer to confirm
DVA – approved if the patient meets the current Medicare criteria for vulnerable patients
NDIS - approval of Telehealth for all patients