MBS rebate discourages GP Mental Health Consultations. The rebate for a 20-minute GP Mental Health consultation is $75.80. The rebate for 20-minute long consultation item 36 is $76.95. There is a dollar and fifteen cents difference in favour of the long consultation for any general health complaint.
Some GPs decided to bill item 36 for any GP Mental Health Consultation instead of item 2713. Is that the correct thing to do? It is not. Medicare MAY see this as irregularity in case of an audit. As far as I know, no GP was penalised for that yet.
Does it mean the end of GP Mental Health Consultation? Not at all. GPs should bill item 2713 when performing GP Mental Health Consultations.
Besides, unlike item 36, item 2713 can be billed as ‘unrelated’ along with Care Plan items 721, 723, 732 and 900 (HMR).
Of course, some rules to follow when billing for ‘unrelated’ Medicare services.
Please, always consult Medicare Benefits Schedule for any item descriptions.