Medicare EPC 

The Medicare allied health initiative allows chronically ill people who are being managed by their General Practitioner under a Chronic Disease Management plan to access Medicare rebates for allied health services. Podiatry services are included in this scheme. Podiatrists diagnose and treat a range of disorders of the lower leg and feet. Chronic conditions such as diabetes and arthritis often have associated foot problems which can impact on mobility and independence. Therefore, some of your patients with chronic and complex conditions may benefit from a referral from you under this scheme.

Eligible residents suffering from a chronic condition should discuss whether they are suitable for this initiative with their General Practitioner.

Low-care residents

Aged care facilities are required to assist low-care residents to access health practitioner and therapy services, including arranging for the practitioner or therapist to visit the home if necessary. While this level of assistance must be provided at no cost to the resident, the resident may be asked to bear the actual cost of the service. Therefore, low-care residents are most suited for referral to chronic disease allied health services under Medicare, where their GP has contributed to a multidisciplinary care plan using MBS item 731 and identified the need for these services.

Please note the following features of an EPC plan:

  • Patients must be under an EPC plan prepared and lodged by you with the Health Insurance Commission
  • Patients are entitled to a total of 5 visits per year to allied health practitioners, not 5 visits per practitioner
  • Referrals must be on the correct EPC plan referral form.

For more information on the EPC initiative, please see the following websites:

The Australian Government, Department Of Health And Ageing, Medicare Benefits Schedule, Allied Health Services, 1st November 2008

Department Of Health, Allied Health Individual Services For Patients With A Chornic Medical Condition And Complex Care Needs Under Medicare