Information for allied health professionals providing services to patients with a chronic medical condition and complex care needs.
We recommend you also read the relevant Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) item descriptors and explanatory notes available at the MBS Online website.
For Medicare benefits to be payable for these services:
- the patient must be referred by their general practitioner
- the services provided must be billed using the correct MBS item number
- a report must be provided to the referring GP following the first and last service, or more frequently if clinically necessary
The referral form used must have been issued by the Department of Health or be a form that contains all the components of this form.
Checking patient eligibility for allied health services - Medicare items 10950-10970
Patients are considered eligible for allied health services if their GP has completed the following prerequisite Chronic Disease Management items:
- a GP management plan (GPMP) - item 721, and
- team care arrangements (TCAs) - item 723
If your patient is a permanent resident of a Residential Aged Care facility (RACF), their GP must have contributed to a multidisciplinary care plan prepared for them by the RACF or to a review of the care plan (item 731). Hospital in-patients are not eligible.
The GP determines the number and combination of services that are appropriate for the patient’s treatment requirements. Only the GP can determine whether the patient’s chronic condition would benefit from allied health services. It is not appropriate for allied health professionals to provide a part-completed referral form to a GP for signing, or to pre-empt the GPs decision about the services required by the patient.
If there is any doubt about a patient’s eligibility, you can call us to confirm the number of allied health services already claimed by the patient during the calendar year.
Requirements for Medicare items 10950-10970
The requirements for Medicare items 10950-10970 are:
- personal attendance (by the allied health professional) of at least 20 minutes is required
- treatment is provided 1 to 1 not through group treatment
Eligible allied health professionals
- Aboriginal Health Workers or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
- Practitioners - item 10950
- Audiologists - item 10952
- Chiropractors - item 10964
- Diabetes Educators - item 10951
- Dietitians- item 10954
- Exercise Physiologists - item 10953
- Mental Health Workers - item 10956
- Occupational Therapists - item 10958
- Osteopaths - item 10966
- Physiotherapists - item 10960
- Podiatrists - Item 10962
- Psychologists - item 10968
- Speech Pathologists- item 10970
Eligible patients have a limit of 5 services per calendar year. The 5 services may be made up of:
- 1 type of service, for example 5 physiotherapy services, or
- a combination of different types of services, for example 1 dietetic and 4 podiatry services
A separate referral form is needed for each service type. The referral is valid for the number of services outlined in the referral. Medicare benefits are not payable for services provided in excess of the number specified in the referral.
The referral form should be retained for 24 months.
A written report must be provided back to the referring GP after the first and last service, or more often if clinically necessary.
Written reports should include any investigations, tests, and/or assessments carried out on the patient, any treatment provided and future management of the patient’s condition or problem.
- MBS Online to view the Schedule
- The Department of Health for resources on chronic disease management
- Education services for health professionals to access other education resources
Contact us for Medicare provider enquiries.
Read more information about our website disclaimer.