Telehealth measure to improve access to psychological services for rural and remote patients

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A significant change to the Better Access to Mental Health (BAMH) scheme to rural and remote clients was implemented in 1 November 2018. Previously, Occupational Therapy could be provided to clients in rural and remote areas (Modified Monash Model Areas 4-7), however only 7 of the 10 sessions could be provided by teleconference and 1 of the first 4 sessions had to be a face-to-face consultation. This presented a significant financial burden to families and disruption to a child’s day-to-day activities due to the additional travel costs.

From 1 November 2018, Medicare has removed the requirement for the face-to-face consultation during the first 4 sessions and now allows all 10 sessions to be provided via videoconference. This represents a significant improvement for clients and families both from a time-saving perspective and financially.

Families can check their location classification using the doctorconnect website.

For further information about accessing Occupational Therapy via telehealth (videoconference), please contact our office on (07) 3186 1390. The Department of Health also has provided a more detailed summary of the changes at the following:

Australian Government | Department of Health | Better Access Telehealth initiative for rural and remote patients