Can I get a Medicare Rebate for my Headache Treatment?
Allied Health professionals play a vital role in any multidisciplinary team, to treat many conditions. Headache treatment is no different, and there are ways that you can access rebates or funding for your treatment through Medicare.
Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as turning up with your Medicare card. Medicare funding for treating your headaches at our clinic requires a Chronic Disease Management (CDM) plan, which was formally known as an Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) plan.
To be able to access Medicare funding as quickly as possible, it is important that you discuss this with your clinician during your initial assessment, as they can give you the information you need to access the funding. As our clinicians are experts in your condition, they can help by getting in touch directly with your GP to help organise the CDM plan.
Do I have to meet certain requirements?
The short answer, is yes.
A Medicare rebate for your headache treatment can be accessed under the CDM program.
The CDM program, also known as a Team Care Arrangement (TCA), must be approved by your GP. It is up to your GP’s discretion whether you qualify for the CDM program or not.
Firstly, you must meet the criteria, and that is generally centred around ‘chronic’ conditions, meaning something that you have suffered with, or expect to suffer with, for more than 6 months.
Secondly, you need to have the referral form from your GP, who needs to send you to our clinic specifically.
Thirdly, there must be at least one other healthcare provider, for a total of three healthcare providers, that is part of the TCA. This can be a specialist, or another allied health professional. Another GP is usually not accepted as the third member of the team.
How many treatment sessions are covered by the Medicare rebate?
The Medicare rebate can cover you for up to 5 sessions per calendar year, i.e. 5 sessions between January 1st – December 31st. It is up to the discretion of your GP as to how many are allocated to a particular allied health practitioner.
Services covered under the CDM may include physiotherapy, dietetics, podiatry, speech pathology, psychology etc. So, for instance, your GP might refer you for 3 physiotherapy consults, and 2 podiatry consults. This number is renewed each calendar year, but you will need a new referral each year.
How much does the Medicare rebate cover?
The current Medicare rebate is $53.80 per consult, regardless of the specific service that you choose. That means that the rebate is $53.80 for an initial consult, and any subsequent review consults that you might be recommended for as well. Unfortunately, we cannot bulk bill Medicare at our practice, so there will always be a gap payment to cover the remaining cost.
How do I claim the Medicare rebate?
The Medicare rebate can be claimed once the CDM/TCA has been approved by all of the parties involved, i.e. your GP, Medicare, the third healthcare practitioner that is involved in the TCA, us and yourself.
When paying for your session at our clinic, you will be charged the full amount for the session. Once that amount has been paid, we will process the Medicare rebate, which is paid directly into your account, provided you can provide us with a debit card that is attached to a Savings or Cheque account. Please note, this process cannot be processed on a credit card.
Specifically, here are the steps:
- You need to pay the full fee.
- We swipe your Medicare card and access the $53.80 rebate for you
- We swipe your DEBIT card again, and put the $53.80 back onto that card on-the-spot.
- (You cannot use a CREDIT card for this process)
Alternatively, if you don’t have a debit card that is attached to a Savings or Cheque account, we can provide you with the receipt for your transaction, and the rebate can be claimed online via the Medicare website.
To wrap it all together:
- Yes, you can get a Medicare rebate for your headache treatment, using the CDM Program
- You need a specific doctor’s referral, and it will need to be considered by your GP to be a “chronic” condition
- You can get $53.80 rebate for up to 5 visits per year
- You pay the full amount in the clinic, but we can process the rebate on-the-spot, straight back onto your debit card
If you have any questions at all regarding the CDM process – please call or email us via the Contact Us page, and we are more than happy to answer them.
For further information regarding a CDM plan, you may wish to visit the Department of Health website.
Alternatively, come in to see us ASAP and we can assist you with liaising with your GP, and can help you overcome your debilitating headaches!