Issue 63 | Medicare and Members' Meeting

About this resource

NEDC e-Bulletin

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Editor's Note

Welcome to 2020 and the latest issue of the National Eating Disorders Collaboration (NEDC) e-Bulletin. It’s a time of new beginnings and promises to be a productive year for the NEDC and our members. Milestones marked this year include the launch of our Peer Work Guide and our 10th anniversary Members’ Meeting, to be held in Melbourne on February 27-28.

In this first e-Bulletin for 2020, we cover the new Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) item numbers in detail. In a national first, eating disorders are now the only mental health diagnosis attracting diagnosis-specific MBS funding. Dr Angelique Ralph, the NEDC’s Research Lead, presents an overview of the item number changes and how they affect health professionals and individuals living with or caring for people with eating disorders. Links are also provided to essential resources, including step-by-step guides for people with lived experience and workshops and clinical tools for health professionals.

Also in this issue, we have details on our FREE NEDC Members’ Meeting this month, which is on the theme of Building the System of Care. We are inviting all our members - from public networks and private individuals, specialists and generalists, primary and acute care, academics, carers and people with lived experience – to come together, collaborate, and explore ways that they can be a part of efforts to build a system of care that is nationally consistent and evidence based. A unique forum for professional development, contribution and knowledge-sharing, the two-day event will be held on 27-28 February at Rydges Melbourne, 186 Exhibition St, CBD. NEDC members can register here.

Continuing in the spirit of knowledge sharing,  National Manager NEDC, Hilary Smith, reports back from the 2nd Biennial Body Image and Related Disorders (BIRD) Conference, held in Melbourne on December 6, 2019.

We also offer links to national opportunities for professional development and training.


- The introduction of new MBS item numbers: the facts

- Members' Meeting 2020: Register now

- NEDC Out and About: Report from BIRD Conference

- Professional Development upcoming opportunities

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The introduction of new MBS item numbers: the facts

The introduction of 64 new Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) item numbers on 1 November 2019 for eating disorders marked a momentous occasion for the sector in Australia. 

Eligible people living with an eating disorder can now receive a Medicare rebate for up to 40 psychological sessions and 20 dietetic sessions within a 12-month period through an Eating Disorder Plan (EDP). They can also have regular reviews with their GP and a specialist appointment with either a psychiatrist or paediatrician. Previously, people living with eating disorders have only had access to up to 10 psychological sessions and 5 dietetic sessions in a calendar year.

These new MBS item numbers for eating disorders are supported by the NEDC’s National Practice Standards for Eating Disorders, which promote a coordinated, consistent and multidisciplinary approach to the treatment and management of eating disorders within Australia.

There are two groups of people who are eligible to access these item numbers with an Eating Disorder Plan:

  1. Individuals with a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa; or

  2. Individuals who meet the eligibility criteria (available here), and have a diagnosis of any of the following conditions:
- Bulimia nervosa;
- Binge-eating disorder;
- Other specified feeding or eating disorder.

Helpful resources have been generated by a number of organisations to assist you in navigating these new items. Click on the below links to for more information:

If you are living with or supporting someone with an eating disorder:

Step-by-step guides to navigating the new Medicare items are available here and here, and include information for every step of the way from how to access the items, guidance regarding preparing for your first appointment to what to do if you aren’t eligible for these specific items.

For further support or assistance to locate an eating disorder practitioner or service, contact the NEDC online or visit:

-        Australia and New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders (ANZAED)

-        The Butterfly National Helpline 1800 33 4673  

-        Inside Out Institute for Eating Disorders

If you provide professional support to people living with eating disorders:

It is expected that professionals providing assessment, planning, psychological and dietetic services, and plan reviews will have the relevant education and training to deliver these services. Keep an eye on NEDC’s professional development page for upcoming opportunities for training and continuing professional development. We have also developed online training videos for professionals targeting:

- Introduction to eating disorders;        

- Screening and assessment;

- Medical management;

- Nutritional management; and

- Recovery focused treatment.

The following resources and guidelines may assist practitioners in supporting and developing eating disorders treatment plans:

Eating Disorders: a Professional Resource for General Practitioners  developed by NEDC

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of eating disorders

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Referred Patient Assessment and Management Plan Guidelines

Links to useful resources developed by the NEDC and our sector partners can also be found at

The full Medicare Benefits Schedule Book can be accessed online. Content relating to eating disorders can be found in the following sections:

- Pages 182-195 - General explanatory notes, patient eligibility, overview of items, EDE-Q, telehealth

- Pages 346-358 - Item-specific information for GPs and other Medical Practitioner

- Pages 1386-1394 - Item-specific information for Dietitians, Psychologists, Occupational Therapists and Social Workers 

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Members' Meeting 2020: Register now

This year’s FREE National Eating Disorders Collaboration (NEDC) Members’ Meeting 2020 marks not only our 10th anniversary, but is also an exclusive opportunity for our members to join the conversation about building the framework for supporting people with eating disorders.

Come along for two days of discussion, exploration and education on the theme of Building a System of Care, to be held on 27-28 February at Rydges Melbourne, 186 Exhibition St, Melbourne CBD.

Free workshops include consultation on a system of credentialing for eating disorder treatment providers jointly delivered by NEDC and ANZAED; applying the RAVES eating model; six-step, evidence-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy-Guided Self Help training presented by CEED; and a look at the role of Primary Health Networks in developing a system of care.

 Ask questions and get answers about the Medicare changes and how they affect health professionals and their healthcare consumers. Take part in an interactive Q&A with sector leaders and hear keynote speeches from recognised clinical leaders Dr Anthea Fursland and Shane Jeffrey.

The NEDC Members’ Meeting is exclusively for our NEDC members. If you are not already an NEDC member, sign up here today. Membership is also free. Registrations are now open here.

Registrations are coming in fast and we're almost reaching capacity. Don't miss out.  

NEDC Out and About: BIRD Conference

The NEDC was grateful to be invited by the BIRD Conference organisers to hold a stall at its 2nd conference, jointly hosted by Swinburne University of Technology, St Vincent’s and Austin Hospitals.

NEDC Steering Committee member and keynote speaker Professor Tracey Wade presented Perfectionism: Evidence supporting a causal role in body image and eating disorders. Themed sessions held throughout the day were on body image and eating disorders, anorexia nervosa and body dysmorphic disorder.

 “It is inspiring to come to events like this to see and hear about the cutting-edge research being undertaken across so many disciplines and fields of enquiry related to body image and eating disorders across the population,” said National Manager NEDC, Hilary Smith, who attended the conference.

“I was especially interested in the huge range of topics being investigated by the early career researchers whose posters were presented on the day. Many thanks to the organisers for pulling together such a great event, and for giving NEDC an opportunity to share our resources with attendees – some of them almost flew off the table!”



See also

Issue 70 | Reflecting on 2020

Contents: Editor’s Note Festive season message from NEDC National Director Dr Beth Shelton Credentialing quarterly report from NEDC National Manager Dr Sarah Trobe Interview with Royal Children's Hospital nurse Claire May Holiday help information Editor’s Note: 2020 has been a year like no other.

Read more

Issue 48 | Eating Disorders in Military and Defence Personnel

NEDC e-Bulletin Issue 48 Editor’s Note: Military and civilian service professions, such as the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and emergency services, as well as elite sports professions, require a certain level of physical fitness, discipline and performance.

Read more

Issue 41 | Prevention and Protective Factors

NEDC e-Bulletin Issue 41 Editor's Note: Welcome to the forty-first edition of the NEDC e-Bulletin.

Read more

Issue 49 | Qualitative Evidence

NEDC e-Bulletin Issue 49 Editor’s Note: Qualitative research on eating disorders is a growing field, with researchers particularly interested in how qualitative research methods can help us understand barriers to care, social relationships, treatment needs and recovery experiences.

Read more

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