Changes to Telehealth
This page contains fact sheets outlining adjustments made to specialist video consultations funded under Medicare.
Changes from 1 January 2013
From 1 January 2013 the geographic eligibility criteria for telehealth Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) items will be amended to align with the Australian Standard Geographical Classification Remoteness Area (ASGC-RA) classifications. MBS benefits are available for services provided to patients located in regional, rural and remote areas (ie ASGC-RA 2-5).
In addition to this, new MBS telehealth items have been introduced for initial specialist and consultant physician video consultations of ten minutes or less of clinical contact with the patient.
Fact sheet for 1 January 2013 changes to telehealth in RTF format
Fact sheet for 1 January 2013 changes to telehealth in PDF format
Changes announced in the 2012-13 Budget
Addition of a minimum distance requirement
On 1 November 2012, the MBS telehealth items were amended to require that the patient and remote specialist be at least 15 kilometres apart.
The minimum distance requirement does not apply to residents of Aged Care Facilities or patients of an Aboriginal Medical Service.
Fact sheet for 1 November 2012 changes to telehealth in RTF format.
Fact sheet for 1 November 2012 changes to telehealth in PDF format.
Changes to Financial Incentives
From 1 July 2012, the On-Board Incentive for telehealth is paid in two instalments. The first is paid after the first valid telehealth MBS claim is processed by the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the second is paid after the tenth valid telehealth MBS claim is processed by DHS (see below table).
|First Telehealth On-Board instalment|
|Second Telehealth On-Board instalment|
|Total On-Board Incentive|
The value of the second instalment will be determined by the value of the first instalment. For example, if practitioners provide their first service and becomes eligible for the 2012-13 level (which totals $4,800) then they will be entitled to $1,600 for the first instalment and $3,200 if they provide ten valid services before the end of the Incentive Program.
There are no changes to the On-Board Incentive arrangements for Residential Aged Care Facilities.
All telehealth incentives formally cease on 30 June 2014.
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