Rebates for psychologists – backgrounder

Government agencies, such as DVA, Defence, Comcare and the National Disability Insurance Agency, need to take account of a range of different elements of the service that impact on fees paid to psychologists and other allied health providers.

21 December 2019

In the Defence context, it purchases a range of additional obligations that contribute to the costs of these services through its prime contractor. These include:

  • priority of access to health care (for operational and clinical requirements)
  • responsibilities for a range of administrative tasks in securing the access to services including appointment booking, and invoice payment
  • responsibilities for data management, reporting and analytics including Deliverables on continuous improvement and innovation, and 
  • DVA fees do not need to take account of these service elements.

Comparison of payments should also note the purposes of the respective agencies, which exist to fulfil similar but not identical purposes.

These significant differences mean that there is limited value in attempting to directly compare the rates of payment.

DVA rates for psychologists and clinical psychologists continue to be higher than the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) rebate for bulk billed services.

The DVA fee for a standard psychologist consultation is 21 per cent higher than the MBS rebate – $102.95 compared to $84.80.

The DVA fee for a standard clinical psychologist consultation is also 21 per cent higher than the MBS rebate for the same consultation - $151.20 compared to $124.50.

The number of psychologists providing services to DVA clients has almost tripled between 2012–13 to 2017–18 from 1279 to 3480 providers.

The Department continues to monitor access to health services for veterans and will ensure that our payment and engagement arrangements with providers reflect this priority.

 

Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling, provides support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Free and confidential help is available 24/7. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 1800 011 046 or +61 8 8241 4546) or visit www.OpenArms.gov.au