Universal telehealth rebates have finally arrived in Australia in what Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared “is a decade's worth of work in a matter of days.”
As Australian cases of coronavirus continue to rise and quarantine and social distancing regulations become stricter, the government has fully embraced the importance of telehealth in both protecting patients and practitioners from COVID-19, but also ensuring our normal healthcare system remains intact during this pandemic.
What does this mean?
Health practitioners across Australia can continue safely offering services to patients, even if they are working from home or in quarantine themselves. They will now be properly reimbursed for video or phone consults and patients who could otherwise not afford private fees can continue seeing you.
This ensures greater continuity of care, greater income stability, continued management of chronic diseases or acute concerns and of course, increased personal safety.
'Whole of population telehealth' means you can now reach out to your GP, specialist or other healthcare provider over the phone or via video conference, regardless of your age or health status. You do not need to leave the house and risk exposure to COVID-19 unless you need a face-to-face appointment.
Renewing scripts, general health advice, accessing referrals, creating a mental health care plan, getting pathology results, urgent after-hours care, pregnancy support, rehabilitation, mental health services and more can all be accessed from the comfort of your own home.
Patients looking for telehealth services can search here.
How long are these item numbers available?
The item numbers will be available for 6 months, being 30 September 2020. The ongoing availability of these item numbers will be reassessed prior to 30 September 2020.
Who can provide services via telehealth under these new items?
General practitioners, other medical practitioners, specialists, consultant physicians, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, (midwives, nurses and Indigenous health practitioners under supervision of a medical practitioner) obstetricians, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, occupational therapists and social workers are all eligible to provide services under these new items.
See the full list of the new items here.
Healthcare providers who are ready to start their telehealth journey can chat with the Coviu team today to get the process underway.
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.