Permanent telehealth MBS arrangements welcomed but need further adjustment

Date published:
07 Jan 2022

The College continues to strongly advocate for appropriate permanent telehealth specialist MBS items, especially in the context of ensuring their availability to priority populations, including in regional and remote areas.

The College has advocated for retaining the phone option and argued that phone consultations are preferred by many patients or necessitated by patient-specific circumstances such as old age, fragility, intellectual disabilities, deficit in skills, low bandwidth, geographical barriers and inability to access in-person care.

For similar reasons, we raised concerns about the 30-20 auditing rule and advocated for alternative arrangements to ensure appropriate use of specialist phone attendances. While our advocacy resulted in a recent win in relation to the threshold – its introduction is being delayed and reviewed for impact on access to specialist care – we remain concerned about other changes to telehealth MBS items.

We are calling for similar reconsideration and review in relation to other changes to telehealth items. Read our most recent media release.

We continue to monitor for any negative impacts arising from the new arrangements and continue advocating for improved patient and member outcomes. Please check these pages and member communications for further information on our work.

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