New Medicare Items to improve care, access and collaboration in treatment of people with eating disorders

5 Sep, 2023

Allied health practitioners can now bill for their time while attending case conferences under 21 new Medicare items which were introduced in July. Prior to these changes, only GPs and other medical health practitioners could claim for case conferences. The new items were designed to facilitate conferences involving patients being treated under eating disorder treatment and management plans, and the Better Health Access Initiative.

These changes have been introduced to support and promote communication and shared care between providers, and improve access to multidisciplinary, collaborative, and coordinated mental health care. They recognise the time, commitment and expertise that allied health practitioners contribute to the treating team to provide the best evidence-based care for people living with eating disorders. They will also help to build communication and coordination between multidisciplinary teams and ensure equal access to case conferences for patients with mental health conditions and patients with chronic disease.

What has changed?

Eligible providers now have access to 21 new MBS items to organise, coordinate and participate in case conferences to discuss a patients mental health care if:

  • The person has an active eating disorder treatment and management plan (EDTMP) or has been referred for Better Access services (such as Mental Health Care Plan).
  • A medical professional such as a GP, psychiatrist, paediatrician, or other medical practitioner has organised and will coordinate the conference.
  • The medical professional and at least two other members of the multidisciplinary team attend the case conference.
  • The patient has consented to the case conference and participation of each of the practitioners.

What do the items include?

The new items include numbers for medical practitioners to organise and coordinate a multidisciplinary case conference.  They also include item numbers for medical practitioners and eligible allied health practitioners to participate in case conferences. This includes GPs, psychiatrists, paediatricians, other medical professionals, clinical psychologists, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, and dietitians. 

Find out more about these changes by downloading our factsheet from our resource library

Further information can be found on the MBS website