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Uncategorized . 3 minutes read . October 5, 2021

Everything you need to know about rTMS – a modern and advanced treatment under Medicare funding

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) therapy will be listed on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) for the treatment of major depressive disorder beginning November 1, 2021.

You could be someone who deserve this treatment.

MBS-subsidised rTMS therapy available to patients over the age of 18 who have tried at least two classes of antidepressants and remain unwell and have not received rTMS therapy previously. The inclusion of rTMS services on the MBS is consistent with the Australian Government's commitment to provide Australians with affordable healthcare that matches current clinical practice.

What are the changes? 

Previously, rTMS was not publicly subsidised and patients who sought treatment had to pay for it out of pocket.  Now it is available to all Australians if you satisfy following conditions

  • Prescription of an initial course of rTMS treatment by a psychiatrist with appropriate rTMS training; 
  • Delivery of an initial course of rTMS treatment of up to 35 sessions under the guidance of  a psychiatrist with appropriate rTMS training; 

Why are the changes being made?

These changes have been made in response to recommendations based on comparative studies proving rTMS as a safe, clinically effective and cost-effective treatment based on research.

How will these changes affect patients? 

Eligible patients will be able to obtain a subsidised initial course of up to 35 rTMS therapy sessions under the MBS. Furthermore, if a patient reacted well to the initial treatment course but then relapsed, the MBS will cover a retreatment course of up to 15 sessions. Over the course of a patient's lifetime, Medicare will provide rebates for one course of treatment and one course of retreatment services.

Patients who are eligible for rTMS treatment must fulfil the following criteria:

  • Be an adult (over the age of 18) diagnosed with a major depressive episode; 
  • Have failed to achieve satisfactory improvement in depression despite adequate trialling of at least two different classes of antidepressant medications, unless contraindicated; 
  • Have also undertaken psychological therapy, unless inappropriate; and 
  • Have not previously received rTMS treatment.

Mind Connections Specialist Health Services provides rTMS treatment. What does this mean for providers? 

At Mind Connections, we provide Medicare-subsidised rTMS services to eligible patients so they achieve complete recovery from debilitating medication-resistant depressive disorder.

Mind Connections offers team-based care with a team of consist of psychiatrists, general and clinical psychologists, and other medical specialists. We assist people of all ages empowering, and educating themselves on how to live happy and healthy lives.

Our rTMS treatment program is evaluated periodically for compliance and efficacy criteria and affiliated with the Western Sydney University, Faculty of Medicine MD research program.

If you are an eligible candidate, contact us directly today to book an appointment for assessment.