MBS telehealth update
27 Mar 2020
The information provided here supersedes information provided in a previous message, but please be aware that policy is moving rapidly in response to clinician feedback including feedback from the RACP.
From 13 March 2020 to 30 September 2020 (inclusive), new MBS telehealth items are available for services provided to vulnerable people within the community, or who are in isolation due to COVID-19, and services provided by healthcare providers (including specialist and consultant physicians) who are in isolation due to COVID-19, or who are also vulnerable to COVID-19.
The common definition of ‘vulnerable’ that applies to both qualifying patients and health service providers is:
- people who meet the testing guidelines for COVID-19
- people aged over 70
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over 50
- people with chronic health conditions or who are immunocompromised
- parents with new babies and people who are pregnant.
The new items are: Group A40, sub-groups 4-6: 10 new video conference items for specialist and consultant physician items, including psychiatric services – MBS items 91822, 91823, 91824, 91825, 91826, 91827, 91828, 91829, 91830 and 91831. Ten new telephone items for specialist and consultant physician items, including psychiatric services – MBS items 91832, 91833, 91834, 91835, 91836, 91837, 91838, 91839, 91840 and 91841.
These new services must be bulk billed.
The full item descriptor(s) and information on other changes to the MBS can be found on the MBS Online website.
The Department of Health provides an email advice service for providers seeking advice on interpretation of the MBS items and rules and the Health Insurance Act and associated regulations. If you have a query relating exclusively to interpretation of the Schedule, you should email MBS@health.gov.au.
A factsheet for the specialist and consultant physician items can be found on the MBS Online website.
More comprehensive resources and advice for the health and aged care sector (including additional links to COVID 19 testing guidelines) can also be found on the Department of Health's website.