Medicare have advised us that the additional 10 MBS Mental Health Session codes released on August 7 are not yet ready to be processed. However, patients are eligible for these services from August 7.
The advice from Medicare at the moment is to ‘stockpile’ claims that use these codes until it's announced they’re ready for claiming. We don’t know yet when claiming will be available, but we are hopeful it won’t be more than a couple of weeks at most.
We will update you as soon as we know that they are available!
Medipass' response to COVID-19
Medipass will not be charging any fees relating to all bulk bill telehealth services for Medicare and DVA claims until at least 30 September 2020.
This includes the new MBS telehealth item codes made available for COVID-19 as well as all pre-existing telehealth MBS item codes for Medicare and DVA.
You can use Medipass' Medicare and DVA claiming functionality to claim for telehealth services. This includes existing telehealth services as well as those relating specifically to the COVID-19 outbreak.
This situation is quickly changing, and the Australian Department of Health is continually releasing new advice. You can access the latest information on the Temporary Telehealth Bulk-Billed Items for COVID-19 fact sheet.
In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the following practitioners can now provide health consultations via telehealth (and some phone) services, bulk-billed at no cost to patients:
- Consultant physicians
- Consultant psychiatrists
- Nurse practitioners
- Allied mental health workers and
The new temporary COVID-19 specific MBS telehealth items are available to providers of bulk billed telehealth services for a wide range of consultations. All Medicare eligible Australians can now receive these services.
Practitioners do not require additional accreditation or approval to offer telehealth services. You can provide these services under the MBS item numbers specific to your practice.
Check your eligibility criteria here: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/organisations/health-professionals/services/medicare/mbs-and-telehealth/about/eligibility
Existing Telehealth MBS item codes
The Department of Health recently announced changes (as of 6 April) to existing MBS item codes and their eligibility for telehealth consultations, and whether bulk billing is required or not. This is the best MBS resource we've found that's being updated regularly to reflect these changes.
For Allied Health practitioners, existing telehealth item codes, pre-COVID-19 (such as those for psychology for mental health plans and dietetics for patients with eating disorders) remain unchanged.
There are 23 telehealth MBS items available to medical practitioners, nurse practitioners, midwives, practice nurses and Aboriginal Health Workers. For more information on the existing telehealth item codes please visit: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/organisations/health-professionals/services/medicare/mbs-and-telehealth/about/mbs-item-numbers-and-payments
If your question isn't answered here, or there's anything we can assist with, please don't hesitate to contact our support team via the pink chat bubble or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do any private health insurance funds accept rebates for telehealth appointments?
This is rapidly changing, and different for each private health insurer. That said, there is no straight through electronic processing we are aware of for telehealth appointments for private health insurance.
Therefore, we recommend you take an out-of-pocket payment from a patient via SMS and ask your patient to seek to claim their benefit direct from their insurer. You can use Medipass' 'patient funded' functionality for this. Learn how here.
Can a client claim a CDM rebate for allied health services conducted over telehealth?
Yes. Allied providers that deliver Chronic Disease Management (CDM) eligible services can now do so via Telehealth methods (video or phone), and for some patients, can chose whether to bulk bill or not for the service (please check the detailed description of MBS item codes to ensure your compliance with this).
How can I collect payment for a telehealth consultation through Medipass?
A 'patient funded payment' will send an SMS to your patient or client, which prompts them to enter their payment card information. With their approval, their card will be charged with your fee. You can find more information and instructions here.
Please note: in order to be enabled for patient funded payments, you will need to be registered for either Medipass Card Payments or HICAPS Go Provider Facility.