Extension of telehealth item numbers to 31 March 2021

Extension of telehealth item numbers to 31 March 2021

25 September, 2020

Extension of telehealth item numbers to 31 March 2021

The Government has extended its national COVID-19 emergency health response for a further six months, to 31 March 2021. This will ensure that patients continue to have access to key health initiatives, including Medicare-subsidised telehealth services.

From 1 October 2020:

  • GPs and OMPs providing COVID-19 telehealth services are not required to bulk bill their patients.
  • Temporary MBS COVID-19 bulk billing incentive items 10981 (for GPs) and 10982 (for OMPs) ceased.
  • The temporary doubling of fees for MBS bulk billing incentive items 10990, 10991, 10992, 64990, 64991, 74990 and 74991 ceased.

A list of temporary telehealth items is provided in the overarching COVID-19 MBS Telehealth Services Factsheet available on MBS Online.

Do I have to have seen the patient in the last 12 months?

This requirement does not apply to people who are homeless; patients receiving an urgent after-hours (unsociable hours) service; children under the age of 12 months; patients of medical practitioners at an Aboriginal Medical Service or an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service; and people living in a COVID-19 impacted area.

A COVID-19 impacted area is one where a person’s movement is restricted by a State or Territory public health requirement that applies to the person’s location. This includes patients subject to quarantine, and other restrictions intended to support infection control.

Current COVID-19 impacted areas in Victoria are listed here.