Medicare Benefits Schedule - Item 91166

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91166 - Additional Information

Item Start Date:
Description Updated:
Schedule Fee Updated:

M18 - Allied health telehealth and phone services
1 - Psychological therapies telehealth services

Psychological therapy health service provided by telehealth attendance by an eligible clinical psychologist if:

(a) the person is referred by:

(i) a medical practitioner, either as part of a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan or as part of a psychiatrist assessment and management plan; or

(ii) a specialist or consultant physician specialising in the practice of his or her field of psychiatry; or

(iii)   a specialist or consultant physician specialising in the practice of his or her field of paediatrics; and

(b) the service is provided to the person individually; and

(c) at the completion of a course of treatment, the referring medical practitioner reviews the need for a further course of treatment; and

(d) on the completion of the course of treatment, the eligible clinical psychologist gives a written report to the referring medical practitioner on assessments carried out, treatment provided and recommendations on future management of the person’s condition; and

(e)  the service is at least 30 minutes but less than 50 minutes duration


Fee: $113.65 Benefit: 85% = $96.65

(See para AN.0.30, AN.0.76 of explanatory notes to this Category)

Extended Medicare Safety Net Cap: $340.95

Associated Notes



Consultant Psychiatrist - Referred Patient Assessment and Management Plan - Items 291 or 92435 and 293 or 92436

Intention of Item 291 and 92435:

It is expected that item 291 or 92435 will be a single attendance. The intention of this item is to provide access to psychiatry expertise and the provision of a detailed written report to the referrer, so that the medical practitioner in general practice (including a general practitioner, but not a specialist or consultant physician) or participating nurse practitioner can provide the ongoing management of the patient. The detailed report is a fundamental component of this item and must address not only a comprehensive diagnostic assessment but also the recommended management of the patient in both the immediate and longer term.

Where a patient’s clinical needs are complex and the psychiatrist assesses it is not appropriate for the referrer to provide the ongoing management of the patient, the psychiatrist should use item 296, 297 or 299 (for a new patient) or 300, 302, 304, 306 or 308 (for subsequent attendance) or telehealth equivalent items 92437, 91827 to 91831, 91837 to 91839 (refer to Note AN.0.75).

The referrer can seek a revision of this management plan once in a 12 month period, through item 293 or 92436.


Referral for items 291 or 92435 and 293 or 92436 are required from a medical practitioner in general practice or participating nurse practitioner for the assessment and development of a management plan of a patient with mental health condition.

Note: If a specialist of a discipline outside of psychiatry, wishes to refer a patient for this item the referral should take place through the medical practitioner in general practice or participating nurse practitioner.

Claiming other psychiatry items in association with 291 or 92435:

Whilst it is not expected that additional attendance items would be routinely used prior to item 291 or 92435, there may be circumstances where a patient has been referred (by a medical practitioner in general practice or participating nurse practitioner) for an assessment or management plan, but it is not possible for the psychiatrist to determine in the initial consultation whether the patient is suitable for management under such a plan.

In those circumstances, where the psychiatrist undertakes a consultation prior to the 291 or 92435 consultation, time based consultation items can be claimed, according to the item requirements. In these cases, where clinically appropriate, items 296, 297 or 299 (for a new patient) or 300, 302, 304, 306 or 308 (for subsequent attendance) or telehealth equivalent items (92437, 91827 to 91831, 91837 to 91839) may be used. Non-patient interview items 341, 343, 345, 347 or 349 or telehealth equivalent items 91874 to 91878, 91882 to 91884 may be used, where clinically appropriate, to assist with diagnosis assessment and preparation of treatment plans.

Claiming other psychiatry items following item 291 or 92435:

Whilst it is not expected that psychiatry time-based attendance items, such as items 300 to 308, would be used following the billing of item 291 or 92435, there may be clinical circumstances where limited follow up is required to provide short term assistance to enable the medical practitioner in general practice or participating nurse practitioner to provide the ongoing management of the patient. For example, one or two consultations monitoring the titration of a Schedule 8 medication prior to transfer of care back to a medical practitioner in general practice.  As the intention of this item is to provide detailed recommendations to the referrer to manage the patient’s ongoing care, only short-term non-ongoing management which enables this intent would be considered appropriate.  

Item 293 or 92436 provides opportunity for a comprehensive review of the management plan initiated by the referrer and can be claimed once in a 12 month period following use of item 291 or 92435.

Requirements of item 291 or 92435 - Use of outcome tools:

In order to contribute to the diagnostic assessment and monitor response to therapy, where clinically appropriate, an assessment and/or outcome tool should be utilised during the assessment and review stage of treatment. The choice of the evidence-based tool/s to be used is at the clinical discretion of the practitioner, however the following outcome tools are recommended:

  • Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10)
  • Short Form Health Survey (SF12)
  • Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS)
  • DASS 21 (Depression, Anxiety and Stress)
  • BDI (Depression)
  • BAI (Anxiety)
  • BDRS (Bipolar Disorder)
  • GRS (Older adults)
  • EPDS (Postnatal Depression)

Requirements of item 291 or 92435 - Management Plan Report:

A written copy of the detailed management plan in consultation with the patient, must be provided to the referring GP or participating nurse practitioner within a maximum of two weeks of the assessment.

It should be noted that two weeks is the outer limit and in more serious cases more prompt provision of the plan and verbal communication with the referring GP or participating nurse practitioner may be appropriate.

The detailed Management Plan should contain:

  • The findings of the comprehensive diagnostic assessment and the formulation that contributed to this assessment (including the finding of the outcome tools where clinically appropriate)
  • Relevant history and Mental Status Examination
  • Identification of any risks to the patient or others
  • Detailed management plan which includes, as clinically appropriate, not limited to one or more of the following recommendations:

o   Biopsychosocial management

o   Non-medication recommendations including (where relevant): psychoeducation; recommendations for psychological treatment (and who should provide this); social prescribing

o   Indications for review or episode and escalation of treatment strategies

o   Longer term management goals

Review of Management Plan - Item 293 or 92436:

Item 293 or 92436 is available in instances where the referring medical practitioner in general practice or participating nurse practitioner initiates a review of the plan provided under item 291 or 92435, usually where the current plan is not achieving the anticipated outcome or there has been a change in the clinical circumstances. It is expected that when a plan is reviewed, any modifications necessary will be made. Item 293 or 92436 can only be claimed once in a 12 month period, following the provision of a service under 291 or 92435.

Related Items: 291 293 296 297 299 300 302 304 306 308 91166 91167 91169 91170 91172 91173 91175 91176 91827 91831 91837 91839 92435 92436 92437



Referral to Allied Mental Health Professionals (for new and continuing patients)

To increase the clinical treatment options available to psychiatrists and for which a Medicare benefit is payable, patients with an assessed mental disorder (dementia, delirium, tobacco use disorder and intellectual disability are not regarded as mental disorders for the purposes of these items) a patient is eligible for up to 10 individual allied mental health services per calendar year by:

  • clinical psychologists providing psychological therapies; or
  • appropriately trained GPs or allied mental health professionals providing focused psychological strategy (FPS) services.

Referrals from psychiatrists to allied mental health professionals must be made under eligible MBS items. While such referrals are likely to occur for new patients seen under item 296, 297, 299 or 92437 or a referred psychiatrist assessment and management plan under item 291 or 92435, they are also available for patients at any point in treatment (under items 104 to 109, 293, 296, 297, 299, 300, 302, 304, 306, 308, 310, 312, 314, 316, 318, 319, 320, 322, 324, 326, 328, 330, 332, 334, 336, 338, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 349 or telehealth equivalent items, as clinically required, under the same arrangements and limitations as outlined above). 

The ten individual services may consist of:

  • psychological therapy services (items 80000 to 80015 or telehealth equivalent items 91166, 91167, 91181 or 91182) - provided by eligible clinical psychologists; and/or
  • focused psychological strategies - allied mental health services (items 80100 to 80115 or telehealth equivalent items 91169, 91170, 91183 or 91184; 80125 to 80140 or telehealth equivalent items 91172, 91173, 91185 or 91186; 80150 to 80165 or telehealth equivalent items 91175, 91176, 91187 or 91188) - provided by eligible psychologists, occupational therapists and social workers.

Within the maximum service allocation of ten services, the allied mental health professional can provide one or more courses of treatment.

Group therapy services

In addition to the above services, patients will also be eligible to claim up to ten separate services within a calendar year for group therapy services (involving 6-10 patients) to which items:

  • 80020 or 80021 (psychological therapy - clinical psychologist)
  • 80120 or 80121 (focused psychological strategies - psychologist)
  • 80145 or 80146 (focused psychological strategies - occupational therapist); and
  • 80170 or 80171 (focused psychological strategies - social worker) apply.

These group services are separate from the individual services and do not count towards the ten individual services per calendar year maximum associated with those items.

Referral Requirements for Allied Health services

A referral for treatment must be in writing (signed and dated by the psychiatrist) and may include (unless clinically inappropriate):

  • the patient’s name, date of birth and address;
  • the patient’s symptoms or diagnostic assessment;
  • the patient needs and goals of treatment (if clinically appropriate);
  • a list of any current medications (if appropriate);
  • the number of sessions before a psychiatry review is required; or the allied health practitioner should provide a written report back to the psychiatrist following the completed course of treatment, confirming the patient’s need for a subsequent course of treatment if clinically needed.

Maximum session limit for each course of treatment apply:

Initial course of treatment – a maximum of six sessions. Subsequent course of treatment – a maximum of six sessions up to the patient’s cap of ten sessions (for example, if the patient received six sessions in their initial course of treatment, they can only receive four sessions in a subsequent course of treatment).

Related Items: 104 109 291 293 296 297 299 300 302 304 306 308 310 312 314 316 318 319 320 322 324 326 328 330 332 334 336 338 342 344 346 80000 80015 80020 80021 80100 80115 80120 80121 80125 80140 80145 80146 80150 80165 80170 80171 91166 91167 91169 91170 91172 91173 91175 91176 91181 91182 91183 91184 91185 91186 91187 91188 92435 92437


  • Assist - Addition/Deletion of (Assist.)
  • Amend - Amended Description
  • Anaes - Anaesthetic Values Amended
  • Emsn - EMSN Change
  • Fee - Fee Amended
  • Renum - Item Number Change (renumbered)
  • New - New Item
  • NewMin - New Item (previous Ministerial Determination)
  • Qfe - QFE Change