In response to COVID-19, the Department of Health has released temporary Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) item numbers to help reduce the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 and provide protection for patients and health care providers.
The range of services general practitioners can provide via telehealth (video conference) includes mental health treatment, chronic disease management, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health assessments, as well as services to people with eating disorders, pregnancy support counselling, services to patients in aged care facilities, children with autism, and after-hours consultations. The scope of these Medicare-subsidised telehealth services have also been expanded to include all Australians, not just those in quarantine or at risk due to COVID-19.
GP services provided using the MBS telehealth items must be bulk billed for Commonwealth concession card holders, children under 16 years of age, and patients who are more vulnerable to COVID-19. For all other patients, bulk billing is at the discretion of the provider, so long as informed financial consent is obtained prior to the provision of the service.
To assist your practice to implement these new items, COORDINARE has partnered with healthdirect Australia to provide access to their Video Call platform in free of charge. Video Call is a telehealth platform that is web based, secure, has a virtual waiting room environment for patients and is purpose built for health care.
If you do not currently have a telehealth platform or would like any information or support, please contact COORDINARE's Digital Health team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 069 002.
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