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J Telemed Telecare. 2012 Apr;18(3):169-71. doi: 10.1258/jtt.2012.SFT111. Epub 2012 Feb 23.

A review of Medicare expenditure in Australia for psychiatric consultations delivered in person and via videoconference.

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Centre for Online Health, Level 3 Foundation Building, Royal Children's Hospital, Herston Road, Herston, QLD 4029, Australia.


We examined the activity (services recorded) and cost (benefits paid) of reimbursement associated with telepsychiatry services in the Australian public health-care sector. We reviewed the activity and costs administered through the government's Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) from July 2002 to June 2011. During this nine-year-period, almost 14 million psychiatric consultations were funded through Medicare at a cost of $1.6 billion. Of these, 8003 were telepsychiatry consultations which cost $934,000, i.e. the video consultations subgroup represented 0.06% of all psychiatric consultations provided and 0.06% of the total cost to the government for these services. Despite telepsychiatry being a widely reported and successful example of telehealth internationally, the uptake of telepsychiatry in Australia has been slow.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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