**Changes to Medicare Telehealth Services**

As you are aware, our clinic’s usual practice (prior to COVID-19) applies a gap fee in addition to the Medicare rebate ($86.15 rebate) to all psychological consultations. The Australian Government has made several changes to the billing arrangements of allied health and medical practitioners. As of 6th April 2020, the Australian Government has now authorised health practitioners to charge their usual gap fees for their services. However, bulk-billing for clients whom receive treatment under a Mental Health Care Plan will remain for those people who meet any of the following eligibility criteria:

*Gap fee payments are effective from Monday 13th April 2020. Due to these unprecedented circumstances, billing is subject to change.*

Bulk-Billing Eligibility Criteria are as follows:

  • Has a current & valid Mental Health Care Plan; AND
  • Hold a valid and current Commonwealth Concession Card; or
  • Children under 16 years of age; or
  • Is a patient who is more vulnerable to COVID-19. ‘Vulnerable’ means a patient at risk of COVID-19, so a person who:
    • Is required to self-isolate or quarantine in accordance with guidance issued by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee in relation to COVID-19; or
    • Is at least 70 years old; or
    • If the person identifies as being of Aboriginal or Torres Straight Islander descent & is at least 50 years old; or
    • Is pregnant; or
    • is the parent of a child aged under 12 months; or
    • Is being treated for a chronic health condition; or
    • Is immune compromised; or
    • Meets the current national triage protocol for suspected COVID-19 infection.