New MBS Telehealth Items Available To Help Fight Coronavirus
However, the everyday Australian is excluded from these rebates.
Those in self-isolation due to having the virus, or meeting other quarantine criteria can access health services from home. At-risk groups such as the elderly or people who are immunocompromised are also eligible for telehealth services under these new items. See the full list of items here.
The rebates come as COVID-19 cases in Australia reach over 160, with experts warning this is just the beginning.
Who is Eligible?
Unfortunately, as with most MBS telehealth items, there is quite strict criteria for who is eligible for these new rebates.
Currently, the following criteria must be met:
- People isolating themselves at home on the advice of a medical practitioner, in accordance with home isolation guidance issued by the AHPPC, and people who meet the current national triage protocol criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection after consultation with either the national COVID-19 hotline, state COVID-19 hotlines, registered medical or nursing practitioner or COVID-19 trained health clinic triage staff
- People aged over 70
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over 50
- People with chronic health conditions or who are immunocompromised
- Parents with new babies and people who are pregnant.
People in isolation or quarantine for COVID-19 can see any eligible health provider.
However, patients in vulnerable groups can only see a healthcare provider for a non-COVID-19 matter if they have seen that provider face-to-face at least once in the previous 12 months.
Who can provide services via telehealth under these new items?
General practitioners, other medical practitioners, specialists, consultant physicians, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists, psychologists, occupational therapists and social workers are all eligible to provide services under these new items, given the patients meet the above criteria.
How long are these item numbers available?
The item numbers will be available for 6 months initially, subject to review. They will likely be extended if the outbreak does not improve after this time period.
Whilst these items are warmly welcomed, there are still many providers and patients who cannot access these item numbers. Even healthy Australians are beginning to work from home, avoid hospitals and waiting rooms, and self isolate due to the fear of catching the virus.
These patients will still need healthcare services as per usual, including new scripts, referrals, mental health treatment, post-op check ins and much more. Healthcare providers must prepare to offer remote services, to the everyday Australian - not covered by these items.
Coviu is an all-in one telehealth solution, built to mimic brick and mortar capabilities. It boasts a range of in-call clinical tools to assist with diagnosis and treatment, and integrates with your calendars, practice management software and workflows.
Coviu is built on WebRTC technology and uses end-to-end encryption, meaning it is more secure than legacy tele-conferencing platforms. This is important when dealing with sensitive patient data.
We are currently offering a special discount code, to help practitioners start their telehealth journey.
Attend a webinar to see Coviu in action.
To learn more about telehealth's role in this pandemic, click here.