Financial support for practices during COVID-19
The AMA has prepared a summary of the financial support that has been made available for businesses by the federal as well as state/territory governments. This information is available here.
Bulk billing incentives during COVID-19
Readers are reminded that on 20 April 2020 two new MBS items were introduced providing a bulk billing incentive for vulnerable patients:
- Item 10981 mirrors the current item 10990 (metropolitan)
- Item 10982 mirrors the current item 10991 (regional)
These items can be used for both services that are provided in rooms as well as telehealth/telephone services.
Patients vulnerable to COVID-19 by the Department of Health definition include a person who:
- is required to self-isolate or self-quarantine in accordance with guidance issued by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee in relation to COVID-19; or
- is at least 70 years old; or
- if the person identifies as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent—is at least 50 years old; or
- is pregnant; or
- is the parent of a child aged under 12 months; or
- is being treated for a chronic health condition; or
- is immune compromised; or
- meets the current national triage protocol criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection.
Existing bulk billing incentive items for concession card holders and children under 16 years of age remain in place.
For more information, see the Department of Health’s COVID-19 Temporary MBS telehealth Services factsheets here.