COVID-19 Telehealth MBS Items for General Practitioners – FAQS
Please note: the Government is making frequent changes regarding telehealth services as the COVID-19 situation progresses. We will provide updates as this information is changed.
Do I need a Provider Number to offer telehealth services?
You will need to have a Provider Number with a practice to provide telehealth services.
Do I need to meet my 19AA and/or 19AB restrictions?
As you will be using a provider number from your primary place of practice, you will need to be meeting any restrictions that you would usually have to have met.
Do I need to provide telehealth services at the practice, or can I work from home (on behalf of the practice)?
You can operate telehealth services in your home ensuring you are providing safe services in accordance with normal professional standards.
What patients are eligible for telehealth services?
From the 30th of March, all patients who hold a Medicare card will be eligible for telehealth services. Patients do not need to fall within the high risk category for providers to be able to bill the telehealth item numbers.
Can I bill after hours item numbers via telehealth?
Yes. Certain After Hours item numbers have been included in Telehealth.
Am I required to bulk-bill?
The new telehealth services must be bulk billed.
How much will I earn for a telehealth consult?
Rebates for services provided by GPs and non-vocationally registered medical practitioners will match what you would earn for an equivalent face to face GP consult.
Why does MBS Online talk about 85% rebate?
Due to the urgency of the new telehealth arrangements, the Department of Health has not been able to amend the legislation that establishes 100% rebates for GP/medical practitioner services, so the MBSonline says 85% however the rebate was increased to match.
What are the bulk-billing item numbers for Telehealth services?
You can find out the available item numbers at this link: http://www.mbsonline.gov.au/internet/mbsonline/publishing.nsf/Content/Factsheet-TempBB
Alternatively, a table of item numbers is available at this link: http://www.mbsonline.gov.au/internet/mbsonline/publishing.nsf/Content/news-2020-03-29-latest-news-March
All services that can currently be provided and bulk-billed via telehealth will be listed in this factsheet.
Can I charge the patient an additional fee if I use the MBS telehealth bulk-billed items for COVID-19?
No, an additional charge cannot be billed for bulk-billing items.
Do I need to offer video conferencing or can I conduct the consultation over a phone call?
Video conferencing is preferred for patient consultations, but if this is not possible the consultation can be conducted over a phone call. There are separate billing items depending on how the consultation has been provided.
Do I need my patient’s agreement to bulk-bill?
Before you can be paid the Medicare Benefit, you will need to have your patient’s agreement to bill these items. You can receive this agreement in writing, by email or verbally during the consultation and it is your responsibility to keep a record of this agreement.
I require supervision, how does this impact my ability to offer telehealth services?
Currently you still need to be meeting all Supervision Guidelines, so if you require face-to-face Supervision you will need to be within the same building as your Supervisor when consulting with patients.
How Can We Help?
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