By Helen Carter
Billing information has been added to Flinders Vision’s and Optometry Australia’s autism information sheet for optometrists.
The additions include two extra items which are in the Allied Health Services Schedule of the MBS, which optometrists can bill when seeing children with a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) or eligible disability, including autism.
Optometry Australia’s national clinic policy adviser Simon Hanna and the original author of the information sheet, Dr Paul Constable, updated Communicating with an individual on the autism spectrum: information sheet for optometrists & practice staff.
Dr Constable, from Flinders Vision, wrote the information sheet to coincide with the Adelaide centre opening in 2016 Australia’s first optometry clinic for children and adults on the autism spectrum.
‘The two items have been on the Allied Health Services Schedule for a number of years. We want to make sure optometrists know about them and that they can use them for these children,’ Mr Hanna said.
The revised information states that consultations for children with autism can be billed against any of the standard items on the Optometrical Services Schedule of the Medicare Benefits Schedule where the eligibility criteria are met.
‘There are also two MBS specific items that optometrists can bill, where the eligibility criteria are met, for children who require diagnosis or are being treated for a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, (PDD) or eligible disability,’ it states.
The full scheduled fee for each of the items is $87.95 and the 85 per cent benefit is $74.80. The items are:
Item 82030: assessment/diagnosis
The item enables visits to assist the referring practitioners with their diagnosis, or the practitioner to contribute to the child’s treatment plan. The child must be aged younger than 13 years and the service must last at least 50 minutes. Items are limited to a maximum of four services per patient, consisting of any combination of items 82000 (psychology), 82005 (speech pathology), 82010 (occupational therapy) and 82030 (audiology, optometry, orthoptic or physiotherapy).
Item 82035: treatment
The item is for children diagnosed with a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or an eligible disability. They must have received a treatment plan while aged younger than 13 years, need to have been referred for provision of services consistent with the treatment plan and be aged younger than 15 years. The service must be at least 30 minutes and items are limited to a maximum of 20 services per patient, consisting of any combination of items 82015 (psychology), 82020 (speech pathology), 82025 (occupational therapy) and 82035 (audiology, optometry, orthoptic or physiotherapy).
See full details of these and the other items in MBS Allied Health Services.
Dr Paul Constable Photo: Flinders University