All information is current as at 1 November 2016.

Medicare rebates for a range of specialist, consultant physician or consultant psychiatrist consultations provided in a video consultation were listed on the Medicare Benefits Schedule on 1 July 2011. There are rebates available for specialists, consultant physicians or consultant psychiatrists as well as for primary care providers who may be with the client during the consultation. There is also a range of additional financial incentives available to eligible practitioners and aged care services that enable patients to participate in a video consultation with a specialist, consultant physician or consultant psychiatrist.

Client eligibility for Telehealth services

Services are available to clients who are receiving the service in:

  • an eligible regional, rural or remote location7
  • a residential aged  care service anywhere  in Australia
  • an Aboriginal Medical Service anywhere  in Australia
  • an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service anywhere in Australia.

Minimum distance requirement

On 1 November 2012, the MBS telehealth items were amended.  The requirement now is that the patient and remote specialist must be at least 15 kilometres apart.  The minimum distance requirement does not apply to residents of Aged Care facilities or patients of an Aboriginal Medical Service.

More information

Further information about the initiative is available at the Medicare website.

Telehealth services - Specialist services

Service type MBS Consultation Items
Specialist services

Medicare rebates are available for video consultations between specialists and patients in tele-health eligible areas, and in eligible aged care facilities and Aboriginal Medical Services throughout Australia.
Rebates are also available for clinical services provided by a health professional located with the patient during the video consultation
For updated range of MBS Items for specialist and patient end services, including GP; Practice Nurse; AHW; Participating Midwives and Nurse Practitioners refer to the Medical Benefits Scheme website.
Ensure patient / client eligibility Eligibility Criteria
The patient and specialist are required to be located a minimum of 15 kms apart at the time of the consultation or patients are located and receiving care in eligible residential aged care facilities and eligible Aboriginal Medical Services throughout Australia.
Requirements
Specialist services
Specialists must still meet all the requirements set out in the specialist item in order for it to be provided as a video consultation. If any of the requirements are not met, the item cannot be claimed.
Patient-end services
Patient-end services can only be billed when it is necessary for the provision of the specialist service and the specialist service is a MBS rebatable video consultation.
Further information

MBS Online - Medicare Benefits Schedule
Australian Department of Health - Primary care (GP, nursing, allied health)
Australian Department of Human Services - Education services for health professionals
MBS Online - Telehealth: Specialist video consultations under Medicare