Medicare Care Plans: Commonly Asked Questions 

by | Jul 9, 2024

The words 'medicare' written out using a scramble block letters

Do you have a Medicare care plan but are uncertain about how to utilise it with a Dietitian? We are here to trouble-shoot commonly asked questions about Medicare Care Plans and provide as much clarity around this process as possible. With our founder and Director Lisa Carrigg coming from the U.S., trust us when we say, we understand how confusing navigating health care can feel/be. If you would like to learn more about what the different Medicare care plans are, and what their eligibility criteria is you can read about it in our blog here (LINK BLOG). 

How do I access a care plan to see a Dietitian? 

Are you living with a chronic condition or eating disorder? Not sure if you might be able to access a care plan to help with costs? 

We recommend booking an appointment with your GP who will assess your eligibility based on the Medicare criteria for either the CDMP (chronic disease management plan or EDMP (eating disorder management plan) as appropriate. We suggest when booking in that you request an extended appointment or inform the receptionist of your intention to discuss possible creation of a care plan with your GP so they can advise on how much time you may need together (especially if you want to discuss other concerns in addition to this). 

If eligible, your GP will assist in setting up the necessary documentation. At this point, you can request to your GP that you would like to work with the Dietitians at Wander and Nourish Nutrition. Your GP will then send us a copy of your referral directly. You are welcome to reach out to us to make a booking or book-in online using our online Client Booking Portal. Just let us know you have a GP care plan. We may also contact you directly to offer support to schedule your initial appointment or help answer any questions about working with us when we receive your care plan from your GP clinic. 

*You do not need a care plan or a referral to work with us. 

Stack of care plan paperwork with paper clip being leafed through by brown hand

I have a care plan for a Dietitian but with no Dietitian name on it……..

If you have a referral to see a Dietitian but your care plan does not specify which Dietitian or which practice, you are welcome to take it to any Dietitian you like. After your first appointment your Dietitian will contact your GP to let them know you have commenced your care plan with them and share an update on your care. 

I have a care plan for another clinic but I want to work with you! (we are flattered and excited)

If you have a care plan with a referral to a specific Dietitian or clinic, you have two options.

  1. You can request your GP create an updated referral addressed to Wander and Nourish Nutrition.
  2. You can see us with your original referral, then we will send the necessary follow-up email to inform your G.P of this change.

***If you have already started using your care plan with another Dietitian at a different clinic and then decide you would rather work with us you will need to see your GP and request they create an updated referral in order to continue care under your care plan with us. 

navy spiral bound notebook on top of a white one on top of a brown folder sitting on wooden table. Cup of pens sits behind and cup of coffee.

What should I bring to my first appointment? 

Please ensure you bring a copy of your GP care plan along to your appointment if it has not been sent to us already (by yourself or your GP clinic). Feel feel to give us a call to check if we have your care plan on file. We cannot bill medicare without a current care plan on file. We will also need your medicare card details. Admin will be in touch with you once you have made a booking for your first appointment or when we have received your care plan (whichever is first) to ensure we answer any questions you have about working with us and we gather necessary details from you in order to use your care plan when you do. 

What if I’m not eligible for a care plan? 

We want to note that you are deserving of care and support regardless of diagnosis or if you qualify for a care plan. If things between you and food, your digestion or body are feeling difficult, reach out to someone. Even if it is not us. Disordered eating is a spectrum and everyone deserves support to heal their relationship with food, eating and body. If you are struggling with a digestive condition or symptoms this can greatly impact your nutrition intake and relationship with your body and food. You deserve support. 

How does payment work? 

We request full payment upfront at the end of your appointment. Afterward, we’ll submit your claim to Medicare on your behalf. Your rebate will be refunded into your nominated bank account within a short timeframe, typically within 24 hours.

What is an Enhanced Primary Care Plan (EPCP)? 

The EPCP was a medicare scheme where individuals could receive rebates for certain allied health services. However, this was discontinued by the Australian government in 2005 and replaced by the current CDMP. So if you hear someone refer to an EPCP, this will actually be referring to a CDMP. 

What is a Team Care Arrangement (TCA)? 

A TCA is a care plan put together by your GP when they believe you would benefit from receiving treatment from other health care providers including allied health professionals. With your consent, your GP will work together with these professionals to outline specific goals, care, and services that they all agree will be beneficial for you. This collaborative approach ensures that you receive comprehensive and coordinated care tailored to your needs.

Medicare Care Plan for Dietitian Services Expiry Date blank spot

What if my care plan runs out? 

If you find yourself in the position where you have, or are about to run out, of allocated appointments but desire or need further support, we are here to support you. Our Admin team works to keep track of the number of Medicare claims that have been made under your care plan with us so we can inform you in advance when you are getting close to running out or your care plan sessions or your plan might expire. You can also contact medicare directly to inquire about how many sessions you have claimed or your GP clinic to check on expiry dates. Additionally, private health insurance can offer rebates for Dietetic visits. As private health coverage varies depending on the provider and coverage level, we suggest clients contact their health insurance provider to check their entitlements. 

Do we offer a bulk bill? 

Wander and Nourish Nutrition does not offer bulk bill services. Therefore, there will be a gap fee even if you have a care plan. This fee covers non-face-to-face time, allowing your Dietitian to complete necessary preparations and follow-ups that are part of your care. This includes collaborating with your circle of healthcare providers through letters and phone calls, curating and sharing follow up content and resources tailored for your needs, and fulfilling medical documentation requirements. 

We’re committed to providing you with comprehensive care and support on your journey. If you have any questions or need further clarification, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We look forward to accompanying you on your path to health and nourishment at Wander and Nourish Nutrition. You can reach our friendly admin team at [email protected] and +61 411-264-495. We look forward to supporting you with your next steps. 

***Please be sure to check with your GP and with medicare to ensure you have the most up to date and accurate information regarding your health care, eligibility for services and rebates. This information is meant to be informative and supportive and not as medical or legal advice regarding your health care needs or eligibility. Medicare information and plans can and do change over time. You can learn more about medicare plans through Medicare Services Australia.

I’m Lisa Carrigg, a Brisbane dietitian who helps clients pursue healing and connection with food.

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