The Albanese Government is laying the foundations for a stronger Medicare, with the new MyMedicare program open to patient registration from 1 October 2023.
MyMedicare is the foundation upon which a stronger, more personalised Medicare will be built, with patients to get more tailored quality care from their regular general practice, doctor and primary care team.
From 1 October, all patients with a Medicare card or Veteran Card are now able to register with their participating general practice to get better continuity of care and access to longer telehealth consultations.
At the moment, telehealth is restricted to patients who have seen their GP face-to-face at least twice in a 24-month period.
Patients who register with MyMedicare will formalise their relationship with their preferred GP and, from next month, become eligible for new Medicare GP telephone services longer than 20 minutes. At the moment, these types of services are generally restricted to acute scenarios, like mental health treatment or COVID-19 antiviral medicines.
From next year, general practices will also begin to access funding packages to help in tailoring their care to patients from priority groups who register with them through MyMedicare, like frequent hospital users and aged care residents.
Provider registration through Services Australia became available on 1 July and is open to accredited general practices, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, Aboriginal Medical Services and mobile and outreach practices.
Around 2,600 practices have registered with MyMedicare, accounting for nearly 40% of the 6,500 practices around Australia, with hundreds more joining every week.
MyMedicare delivers on a recommendation of the Strengthening Medicare Taskforce to introduce a system of voluntary patient registration to support continuity of care and better health outcomes.
The Albanese Government's 2023-24 Budget invested $276.3 million over four years to set up MyMedicare and deliver the first range of tailored funding packages for GPs to support aged care residents and frequent hospital users with comprehensive, team-based care out in the community.
More information is available at: health.gov.au/MyMedicare
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“MyMedicare is open to everyone and entirely voluntary.
“The benefits of this system-wide reform will grow over time, as more patients and providers join.
“MyMedicare is the foundation to deliver more tailored care to patients through a range of funding packages to better serve the needs of patients that fall through the cracks of the current system.
“Patients registered for MyMedicare will gain a stronger relationship with their healthcare teams and more consistent care, including longer telehealth consultations.
“MyMedicare will improve health outcomes and help keep patients healthy and out of hospital.
“This important reform will also secure the sustainability and efficiency of general practice for the future.”