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Q: Can I get Medicare rebates for couple or family therapy?

Strictly no, Medicare is only for individuals.

However if one of the individuals in the couple or family is suffering from a condition that meets the criteria of being a diagnosable disorder and is severe enough etc then that individual can seek a care plan from their doctor.

If in our opinion the best treatment for the individual involves undertaking therapy that only includes their partner or other family members without that individual being present, then that is what we will do.

But we do not bill split if two people within the treatment both have care plans or other weird and wonderful permutations that would increase the level of rebate per hour above what an individual would receive.

Finally any sessions where the identified patient is not present will not be claimable. Sadly there are often very good reasons not to have the them in the room. For example when a four year old is having behavioural problems it is more appropriate to work with the parents for the bulk of the time. Medicare would have us keep the child in the room throughout the parent sessions but this could exacerbate the problem. None-the-less we are constrained by Medicares narrow vision and will not issue receipts that would allow their rules to be broken.