Program Overview

This page provides an overview on Medicare rebates for Specialist video consultations.

Page last updated: 13 March 2015

Medicare Rebates for Specialist Video Consultations

Medicare rebates are available for video consultations between specialists and patients in telehealth eligible areas, and in eligible aged care facilities and Aboriginal Medical Services throughout Australia. Rebates are also available for clinical services provided by a health professional located with the patient during the video consultation.

Image of stethoscope reaching out of a computer screen

Eligible Areas

Medicare rebates are available to patients in:
  • remote, rural and regional areas (based on ASGC-RA 2-5 areas) – from 1 Jan 2013; and
  • patients located and receiving care in eligible residential aged care facilities and eligible Aboriginal Medical Services throughout Australia.

Further details on patient eligibility

MBS Items

Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items allow a range of existing specialist consultation items to be provided via video conferencing when the patient and the specialist are located more than 15kms apart at the time of the consultation.

Telehealth specialist services can be provided without patient-end services.

Other items enable medical practitioners and other health professionals to provide clinical services, where clinically appropriate, to the patient during an MBS video consultation with a specialist.

From 1 January 2013, a further 6 MBS items will be introduced for short initial video consultations that are 10 minutes or less in duration.

Patient-end items can only be provided when clinically necessary and the specialist service is a MBS rebateable video-consultation.

Picture of a man with a white coat using a laptop

How does it work?

A GP treating a patient in a telehealth eligible area can refer the patient to a specialist for a consultation via telehealth.

During the consultation, the patient and specialist will be able to see and hear each other via video conferencing technology.

The GP or another health professional may also be at the patient-end of the consultation to provide clinical services where clinically appropriate.

Man with a head set on looking at an image of a person on his computer.

Who can provide telehealth services?

Medicare rebates for specialist consultations are available across the full range of medical specialties. Rebates for patient-end services are available for services provided by
  • medical practitioners;
  • nurse practitioners;
  • midwives; and
  • practice nurses and Aboriginal health workers providing services on behalf of a medical practitioner.

Where do I find out more?

For more information about eligibility and payments contact Department of Human Services: