The Department of Health has published updated information about COVID-19 telehealth items. Please note that the list of allied health professionals eligible to claim the temporary items is incorrect in the Allied Health FAQ Fact Sheet. The Department of Health is aware of this and we expect this will be updated in the coming days.
As of 6 April 2020, a new requirement came into force requiring that the COVID-19 telehealth arrangements must be bulk billed for Commonwealth concession card holders, children under 16 years old and clients who are more vulnerable to COVID-19. For all other clients, bulk billing is at the discretion of the health professional, so long as informed financial consent is obtained prior to the provision of the service, including fees and out-of-pocket costs. This means that health professionals may apply their usual billing practices to the telehealth items for patients who do not fit the above criteria.
Vulnerable clients who are at risk of COVID-19 are those who are:
- required to self-isolate or self-quarantine; or
- 70 years of age or older; or
- of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent and 50 years of age or older; or
- pregnant; or
- the parent of a child aged under 12 months; or
- being treated for a chronic health condition; or
- immune compromised; or
- are identified as meeting the current national triage protocol criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection.
The Department of Health has published a consumer fact sheet on telehealth, however this contains significant errors and we recommend that you do not share it with consumers until it is updated. We will keep you posted on this.
For further information, please refer to MBS Online.