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Update on new eating disorder items

Medicare Benefits Scheme

Update on new eating disorder items

BodyMatters is pleased to inform you that from 1 November 2019, a new suite of 64 Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items has been introduced to support a model of best practice, evidence based care for eligible patients with eating disorders. We have provided a summary of the information available below. To find out more about this and what it means for you, please speak to your treating therapist or your GP in your next session. The information is both new and assessed on a case by case basis so please do not call our office to find out more- our practice management team will only be able to answer very general questions.  

In particular, under this new scheme eligible patients* will be able to receive a Medicare rebate when eligible providers** undertake the development of an Eating Disorder treatment and management plan or a review which will activate: 

  • A course of evidence based eating disorder psychological treatment services (up to a total of 40 psychological services in a 12 month period); and 

  • Up to 20 dietetic services, in a 12 month period, depending on their treatment needs.

Please note, these services also apply to e-therapy and telehealth 

*Eligibility is determined after patients meet certain prescribed criteria

**Eligible providers are medical practitioners (including a GP a psychiatrist or paediatrician), and eligible Clinical Psychologists and Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, Social Workers and Dietitians

Treatment provided under the Eating Disorder Psychological Treatment items are limited to the defined list of evidence based eating disorder specific treatment. The Better Access to Mental Health treatment pathway (i.e. the current scheme accessed via a Mental Health Care Plan) under the MBS remains for all patients who do not fit the eligibility criteria for the MBS Eating Disorders Treatment Pathway.

For your convenience, we have developed a flow chart to help you understand the process of accessing these benefits here. Some suggestions:

  1. When you do schedule your initial appointment with the GP to be assessed to obtain a eating disorder treatment plan, schedule a double session
  2. At this time, also request a referral to an eating disorder psychiatrist or pediatrician be made and schedule this appointment approximately for approximately 20 weeks time to ensure your treatment can continue under this plan, if you are eligible for additional sessions

We would love to hear what YOU think about these new benefits.