Orthoptists can provide Medicare funded services as part of the Australian Government’s Department of Social Services Better Start for Children with Disability (Better Start) initiative. This initiative provides early intervention and individual assistance packages for children with a disability.
Children with an eligible diagnosis (less than or equal to 6/18 or equivalent field loss, in the better eye with correction) must register for Better Start before they turn 6 years old. A child will have until they turn 7 to access funding.
To apply to be a service provider for the Better Start program please call the DSS Grants hotline on 1800 020 283 or TTY 1800 555 677 to request an application form. For more information please refer to the DSS website.
Note there are two Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) items are now available for orthoptists under this initiative, including 82030 and 82035. The new MBS items with descriptors can be viewed by visiting MBS Online and entering the item number.
Orthoptics Australia (OA) is a national organisation representing members in all states of Australia, as well as members from other countries, including New Zealand, United Kingdom, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. OA strives to promote and advance the discipline of orthoptics in public hospitals and ophthalmology practices, and to actively seek and implement career and work benefits and opportunities for its members.