How and for what services can I claim Medicare rebates under a MHCP?
This article deals primarily with the Better Access to Mental Health Care Program (MHCP).
Some psychological services delivered by The Quirky Kid Clinic are eligible for rebates under Medicare. For example, Medicare rebates are available for psychological treatment sessions provided by registered psychologists under the MHCP.
- How do I access the Mental Heath Care initiative?
You must be referred by your GP, your psychiatrist or paediatrician. Your GP, for example, will need to complete a detailed mental health assessment and prepare a Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHCP) before referring you to a psychologist. You should book a longer session with your GP to enable time for this. Your child will need to be present during that session if they are the patient.
It is important to know that not all presentations are eligible for rebates under this initiative. Your GP will confirm your eligibility during the consultation.
- What do I do next?
You need to provide a copy of the MHCP prepared by your GP to your psychologist before your child's first visit. With the information in the referral, we will be able to prepare a receipt with all relevant details including a Medicare item number so you can claim your rebate from Medicare.
You will need to pay for the service in full. Rebates are not available directly from our reception, and you will need to present a receipt to a Medicare office or through their online portal to receive your rebate.
The MHCP documentation or referral stating the MHCP must be issued AND received before your consultation.
- What services are NOT covered?
Medicare requires that the identifiable patient is present for the full clinic session. In our case, this often means your child. However, it is very common that we will first meet with a parent/s before meeting the child. As a result, parent sessions are NOT eligible for Medicare rebates.
Telephone consultations with parents, teleconferences with other parties (e.g.,teacher, doctors), as well as Skype Consultations and School Observations, are also NOT eligible for rebates.
- Can I claim a rebate for the same service for both a private health fund and Medicare?
No. You can't claim both rebates. You need to nominate, at the time of your appointment, if you are using your Medicare or private entitlements.
- We are a government agency, paying for our client's services at the Quirky Kid Clinic, can we use a MHCP? No. Medicare benefits are not payable when the service is fully or partially funded under a Federal or State government arrangement. Quirky Kid psychologists can still provide non-Medicare services to a patient under a GP referral.
The Quirky Kid Clinic can't and won't alter an invoice after it has been issued. It is very important that a copy of your MHCP is received before your consultation if you are claiming a rebate from Medicare.
- How much is the rebate
The rebate you receive is set by Medicare. The Australian Psychological Society keeps an up to date table of rebates on their Website.
- Does a Psychologist need to sign each invoice? No, they don't need to be signed. For the official reference regarding this issue, please see the MBS Online Item 13.11 of Patient Billing