Telehealth changes from 1 July for GPs
The Minister for Health announced as part of the 2021-22 Budget that the Government would be extending the COVID-19 telehealth items through until 31 December 2021, including for GPs.
There will be some changes to the items available for patients who access telehealth from a GP. The current “relationship rule” requirements for GP specialists will remain in place for most items. Although, we understand telehealth services for the following will be exempt from the rule:
smoking cessation consultations (when finalised)
section 100 PBS prescriptions
sexual and reproductive health consultations
drug and alcohol counselling.
Video consultation items have been extended without change but patients who need to access a GP via phone will be limited to a Level A or Level B equivalent as the Government undertakes to encourage video consultations over phone consultations. Despite this, certain mental health treatment services, including those involving longer consultations delivered by telephone will be retained. This will include items such as 92126, 92127, 91842 and 91843.
Whilst the Department of Health has not yet updated the information online regarding the extension of the MBS telehealth items, the AMA has urged them to do so as a matter of priority. Please check this website http://www.mbsonline.gov.au/internet/mbsonline/publishing.nsf/Content/Home over the coming weeks for further updates.