The Australian Association of Social Workers is the delegated assessing authority, on behalf of the federal government, for social workers interested in providing services through Medicare Australia. The assessment process is called accreditation as an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker (AMHSW).
To be eligible to apply for an Allied Health Professional Medicare Provider Number you may do so under the following circumstances:
- to access referrals under government-funded programs, social workers must be assessed as meeting the requirements for accreditation as an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker. Please note that additional requirements will apply for non-directive pregnancy counselling.
- Accredited Social Workers may obtain a Medicare Provider Number for the purpose of providing Non Directive Pregnancy Counselling only
Government-funded programs and initiatives
The following Medicare programs and federal government initiatives recognise Accredited Mental Health Social Workers as being eligible to provide a particular service. Some may ask social workers to meet additional requirements.
- Access to Allied Psychological Services
- Better Access to Mental Health Care
- Chronic Disease Management (Enhanced Primary Care) Program
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- Medicare & mental health descriptions
- Medicare telehealth items
- Non-directive Pregnancy Support Counselling service
- Teachers Health funds
As outlined by Department of Health, Accredited Mental Health Social Workers who have a Medicare provider number may only provide Focussed Psychological Strategies’ (FPS) services through the Better Access to Mental Health Care, Chronic Disease Management and Access to Allied Psychological Services programs.
There are also state and territory based initiatives, including:
Becoming an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker
Mental health policy and advocacy
Advocacy by the AASW has led to many breakthroughs for mental health social workers, including the ability to provide services under Medicare. We advocate for better social policy in this space through submissions to government and independent inquiries, including national and state senate inquiries and royal commissions.