Telehealth – Phase 5 Update

This morning, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Michael Kidd has confirmed GP’s can now privately bill telehealth consultations. 

Key take-away points to note:

  • There was a direction that patients with concession cards, those under 16 and those who were especially vulnerable to COVID-19 would still have to be bulk-billed
  • Vulnerable patients are those who are pregnant or have small babies, who have a chronic disease or are immunocompromised or are over 70 or Indigenous and over 50
  • The bulk-billing incentive would be doubled for concessions and under-16s
  • GPs need to take individual patients’ circumstances into consideration when they choose not to bulk-bill: “The government is very keen to ensure all people of Australia can still afford to have access to the high-quality services that they need through general practice,” he said

These take-away points, or ‘criteria’ if you like, can be used as a guide for billing practises for telehealth consultations.

Furthermore, clinics that utilise Healthsite’s online booking platform will have access to ‘Pre-Screening’ questions that can guide the patient to the particular billing preference of each individual GP clinic. 

Those preferences can be both ‘bulk-bill the consultation’ or ‘privately bill the consultation’, depending on your own individual preference.

The pre-screening question will direct the patient to the various telehealth appointment types pre-configured in your PMS.

If you require assistance in setting up these preferences please contact us and we can walk you through them. 

Interestingly, Ms Shakespeare also said guidance would be coming on which video conferencing platforms to use since the free kind was not recommended due to security concerns.

This may suggest that governance around the current mechanisms GP clinics are utilising to access ‘telehealth’ as a whole could be standardised. 

If you’re looking for a telehealth solution, Healthsite can support you and provide a 1 month free trial PLEASE CLICK HERE

Stay healthy and wash your hands!

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At least 65% of all Australians own a smartphone, and 75% use their smartphone once a day to access the internet. Arguably, with the COVID-19 pandemic, the use and reliance on smartphones in day-to-day life of Australian’s will likely have increased beyond those figures – but the data is yet to be compiled. 

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