Private health services are an important part of health care in rural and remote Australia. Private providers include private hospitals and individual private practices. It is important for both public and private Allied Health Professionals to understand the private health system and the types of clients able to access such services.
Examples of Income Streams
Private Health Insurance
Individuals with ancillary private health insurance may be able to claim a portion of out of pocket expenses for private allied health services back from their health fund. Clients are only able to access a rebate from their health fund for nominated allied health services and if the Allied Health Professional holds a provider number with that particular health fund. Private Health Fund’s websites contain further information about obtaining a provider number.
Currently there are Medicare Initiatives that allow for participating allied health professionals to claim items via Medicare such as:
The providing Allied Health Professional must be registered with Medicare, and meet provider eligibility requirements. All items require an initial referral from a GP or medical specialist. The Medicare Benefit Schedule Items by Allied Health Profession table available on the Health website provides a summary of all items.
Allied health services funded by other Commonwealth or State programs are not eligible for Medicare rebates, except where a subsection 19(2) exemption has been granted.
'Medicare and You’ is an eLearning program comprised of seven interactive modules on topics that health care professionals need to know when they commence Medicare billing.
Department of Veteran Affairs
DVA cardholders can access a wide range of allied health services at a determined fee. Cardholders are able to access allied health services provided by health care providers (including private allied health professionals) who have a provide number with DVA. For further visit the DVA website.
Grants & Funding Support for Rural and Remote Private Practice
The National Rural and Remote Health Infrastructure Program (NRRHIP) aims to improve access to health services by providing funding to rural and remote communities where the lack of infrastructure is a barrier to the establishment of new, or the enhancement of existing health services. One of the project aims is to increase the range of privately insurable health services available to rural and remote Australia. Allied Health Professionals, who are providing privately insurable health services, and dentists in private practice, are eligible to apply.
Private Practice & You
- What private allied health services are available in the community?
- How can I ensure that clients/patients are provided a choice in terms of service providers?
- How can the private and public allied health services work collaboratively?
- What are the impacts of no private allied health services within a community?
- Helping Children with Autism (Department of Health and Ageing, Commonwealth of Australia)
- Medicare Enhance Primary Care Initiative: Medicare Helping Children with Autism Initiative (Department of Health and Ageing, Commonwealth of Australia)
- Professional Associations.