Better Start

Better Start for Children with Disability Initiative


Medicare Items for Speech Pathology Services


Various Medicare assistance schemes may be available to clients, depending on eligibility factors such as age and diagnosis. All Speech Pathology Tasmania therapy staff are registered with Medicare to provide these services. It is suggested that families speak to their GP about the possibility of accessing this support. Two broad categories of support funding exist. One is called Chronic Disease Management (formerly titled Enhanced Primary Care Program), which provides a total of five rebates to children or adults for Speech Pathology sessions or other allied health services per calendar year.

A separate Medicare support scheme called the Better Start for Children with Disability Initiative is available to children with sight/hearing impairment, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and Fragile X syndrome.This support is accessed through a paediatrician or psychiatrist. This Medicare support provides a total of 20 sessions. Authority to access these sessions must have been made before a child’s 13th birthday. The sessions can then be used up until a child’s 15th birthday. The total Better Start package includes not just this Medicare support, but also funding through the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) for children under the age of 7 years. More details about this component of theBetter Start Initiative are provided below.

FaHCSIA's Better Start for Children with Disability Initiative


Delivered by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA)
Speech Pathology Tasmania offers services to children who are accessing early intervention funding under the Better Start Initiative. This scheme is aimed at delivering evidence-based multi-disciplinary services to children aged 0 – 6 years who have a sight/hearing impairment, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and Fragile X syndrome. Speech Pathology Tasmania is a member of a consortium of services called Spot On which also includes Occupational Therapy, Psychology and Special Education. This enables our therapists to work closely with other allied health professionals who can provide services to our clients, with consultation and joint sessions arranged as needed.

For further information about eligibility and accessing the Better Start Initiative package, please telephone Carers Australia on 1800 242 636, the Better Start Helpline on 1800 989 530 or refer to the (FaHCSIA) website:

http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/disability/progserv/people/betterstart/Pages/better_start_early_intervention.aspx