This is exciting news: 12 NEW Telehealth MBS items for GPs will be available from November 1st, with more likely on the way.
In early June 2019, Health Minister Greg Hunt revealed his 10-year plan to improve Australia's primary care system. At the centre of this plan was the desire to utilise telehealth and improve patient access to health services.
Here at Coviu, we are excited to see his words come to fruition, with this new round of items launching in November. Telehealth is now routinely being discussed and adopted at a federal government level, which means we are likely to see more rebates become available soon.
At the 2019 "Successes and Failures of Telehealth" conference, we asked the Medicare representative about Telehealth rebates for Allied Health beyond mental health and the answer was that this is under debate - a good sign.
Technology has already enhanced so many other aspects of our lives and it won't be long before seeing one's health care professional online becomes commonplace. So, be prepared for change.
The new items are for GPs and non-specialist medical practitioners. They aim to ensure that rural and remote Australians receive timely primary care services and that the established clinical relationship between the patient and his or her usual doctor is maintained.
The new items
- MBS items 2461, 2463, 2464, and 2465 for services provided by GPs
- MBS items 2471, 2472, 2475 and 2478 for services provided by non-specialist medical practitioners located in MMM 1 areas
- MBS items 2480, 2481, 2482, and 2483 for services provided by non-specialist medical practitioners located in MMM 2-7 areas.
There is no restriction on the geographic location of the practitioner providing the new telehealth service other than the usual 15km distance rule.
To be eligible for these rebates, patients must live in Modified Monash Model areas 6 or 7 and have already received three face-to-face attendances in the prior 12 months from that same practitioner. Patients will also need to be located at least 15 kilometres by road from the practitioner at the time of the video consultation.
For more details, check out the Medicare announcement or read our list of all telehealth reimbursable items for GPs. You can also contact us to discuss what MBS items you are eligible for.