Medicare and TMS treatment for major depression.

medicare and sydney tms

The government has announced that from 1 November 2021 TMS will be listed on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS). This is the first time TMS will receive a medicare rebate. TMS or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy provides treatment for major depressive order. The treatment uses magnetic pulses to stimulate the part of the brain responsible for mood and depression. TMS treatment is safe, non-invasive, it doesn’t require sedation and has few side-effects. To read more about the Medicare and TMS treatment for major depression please click here.

Who can receive TMS treatment under Medicare?

Those who are eligible for Medicare may be able to receive rebates when they receive TMS treatment however they will also need to meet the following treatment criteria.

  1. A minimum of 18 years of age.
  2. Diagnosed with major depressive episode and provide a referral from a GP or psychiatrist
  3. Failed to experience relief of symptoms after trialling a minimum of two antidepressants
  4. Have also undertaken psychological therapy (unless inappropriate)
  5. Have not previously received TMS treatment previously.

To find out if TMS is for you, please seek further information from your GP or psychiatrist. As stated above a referral is necessary for TMS treatment.

Prior to treatment

The treating TMS psychiatrist will plan your treatment course and required dosage during the pre-treatment phase of TMS treatment. They will follow up with a prescription and mapping service before treatment commences. Both of these sessions will receive a Medicare rebate. Please ensure you have your referral with you before you book your initial consultation with our psychiatrist.

How will Medicare and TMS treatment work?

If you are eligible, Medicare rebates will be available for up to 35 rTMS sessions for an initial course of treatment and up to 15 rTMS sessions for a course of re-treatment. Re-treatment is undertaken when the first course was successful and a relapse has occurred at least four months after the initial course.

Who can provide rebates under Medicare and TMS treatment?

Medicare funded treatment can only be provided by a psychiatrist, a health care professional (nurse practitioner, practice nurse, allied health professional) on behalf of a psychiatrist, who has undertaken rTMS training.

Is a referral required?

Yes a referral from a GP or psychiatrist is required.

How much will rTMS treatment cost?

Each person will undertake approximately 30 sessions and each session will cost $200. Rebates for the new item numbers will vary between patients depending on if someone is a concession card holder and how much previous gap payments they have made and if they have reached the medicare safety net. As an indication, a non-pension card holder who has not reached the medicare safety net, can expect to be out of pocket approximately $1900.00 for a full course of TMS. It is therefore important for patients looking to have TMS treatment to seek out clinics offering the new medicare rebate and meet the medicare guidelines. Individual circumstances will vary so it important to book in an appointment to discuss the details of your course with us.

Sydney TMS has been providing specialist TMS services since 2014 and was one of the very first outpatient clinics operating in Australia. The clinic has treated almost 1000 patients and operates under ISO quality systems.  For more information about TMS and how it works please click here.

Last updated: 15 November 2023



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