Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Update


Australian Psychological Society Consultation Process : As reported in the media and through AASW’s bulletins and social media, the Minister for Health Greg Hunt has announced a pause to the finalisation of the recommendations from the Medicare Review Taskforce, in light of disagreement between factions in the Australian Psychological Society, impacting on the position for access to Psychologists under Better Access.

To ensure the AASW is informed and proactive Cindy Smith has scheduled meetings with the CEOs of both the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and Occupational Therapy Australia (OTA).

A broader campaign involving members may be necessary depending on APS’s direction as outlined in their discussion paper and final position. A strategy will be prepared for this action, in conjunction with the AASW’s MBS Review Working Group.

Release of Report on Mental Health Items - The Department of Health announced on 5 February a consultation process following the release of the reports from the Primary Care Reference Groups including the Mental Health Reference Group and the Allied Health Reference Group.

We are pleased to see that many of the issues raised by the AASW are included in the Reference Group’s recommendations.

The closing date for submissions on the reports is 17 May. AASW will be seeking to present to the Taskforce on the Mental Health report, as well as making a submission to this process.

AASW MBS Review Working Group is meeting shortly to discuss these developments and the AASW approach in making a response to the recommendations and proposed changes to the Better Access program.