Supporting patients during telehealth consultations with another specialist

Telehealth and the MBS

There are currently 23 MBS items available for practitioners (including GPs, nurse practitioners and Aboriginal health workers) who provide patient-end clinical support during video consultations with a specialist, consultant physician or consultant psychiatrist. Table 1 provides a list of all MBS items relating to telehealth.

MBS rebates are available for patients who:

  • are located outside of Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Area (RA) 1 classification (major cities), or
  • access care from an eligible Aboriginal medical or health service, or
  • live in an eligible residential aged care facility, and
  • are located more than 15 km from the specialist who is providing the treatment.

Further information about eligibility for Medicare rebates is available from the Department of Human Services.

New MBS item numbers announced in 2018 allow appropriately trained GPs and non-specialist medical practitioners to conduct telehealth video consultations directly with eligible patients in rural and remote areas to provide FPS, subject to the GP and patient being more than 15 km apart.

The purpose of these MBS item numbers is to fund support for mental health, wellbeing and resilience of farming communities, and to support people in rural and remote communities who choose to complete their treatment using video consultations. Refer to Table 2 for a list of item numbers relating to GP provision of FPS via telehealth.

Patient-end telehealth services

Table 1.

Patient-end telehealth services

MBS items for general practitioner (GP) provision of Focussed Psychological Strategies (FPS)

Table 2.

MBS items for general practitioner (GP) provision of Focussed Psychological Strategies (FPS)