General Resources & Resources for Clients
Timeline of Updates & Resources
It was announced on Saturday 18 April 2020 by the AAPi (Australian Association of Psychologists inc.) that as of Monday 20 April, allied health professionals including psychologists, specialist and consultant physicians, nurse practitioners and midwives will no longer be required to bulk bill in order to access the MBS COVID-19 telehealth items.
This webinar, hosted by Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Michael Kidd AM, was specifically for Primary Care and Allied Health practitioners from the Department of Health.
Changes to Bulk Billing requirements for COVID-19 Medicare Telehealth
The following has just been released. This is effective as of today, Monday April 6.
Bulk billing for whole of population COVID Telehealth items has been replaced with mandatory bulk bulling for the following:
- a person who is a concessional beneficiary
- a person who is under the age of 16
- a person who is ‘more vulnerable’ to COVID-19 virus
A patient more vulnerable to COVID-19 virus means a person who:
- (a) is required to self-isolate or self-quarantine in accordance with guidance issued by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee in relation to COVID-19; or
- (b) is at least 70 years old; or
- (c) if the person identifies as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent—is at least 50 years old; or
- (d) is pregnant; or
- (e) is the parent of a child aged under 12 months; or
- (f) is being treated for a chronic health condition; or
- (g) is immune compromised; or
- (h) meets the current national triage protocol criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection.
Clients that do not meet this criteria, as of Monday April 6, you have the choice to bulk bill or charge a gap fee. Clients under 16, concessional or ‘vulnerable’ to COVID-19 must be bulk billed if using the COVID-19 Medicare telehealth item numbers.
The services will be available from now until 30 September 2020. The continuing availability of these items will be reviewed prior to 30 September 2020.
“We are proud to announce that HealthEngine has now created Australia’s First End-to-End Telehealth Ecosystem Incorporating a Multi-Specialty Provider Directory, Secure Video Platform and Partner Integrations to Remotely Connect More Practices & Patients. …
We have also launched the ability to be found as a telehealth-enabled practice in Australia’s largest healthcare directory. Free to be listed and we are applying COVID concessions for customers recognising many are in financial distress.” – Dr Marcus Tan on LinkedIn
Private Health Providers Supporting Telehealth
As of March 30 the following 24 health funds have approved telehealth appointments for psychology.
- ahm Health Insurance
- Australian Unity Health
- BUPA Australia
- CBHS Corporate Health
- CBHS Health Fund
- CUA Health
- Defence Health
- GU Health
- HBF Health
- Health Partners
- Latrobe Health Services
- Medibank Private
- Mildura Health Fund
- myOwn health insurance
- Phoenix Health Fund
- rt health fund
- St.Lukes Health
- Teachers Health Fund
- Transport Health
“The Morrison Government will provide a historic wage subsidy to around 6 million workers who will receive a flat payment of $1,500 per fortnight through their employer, before tax.
The $130 billion JobKeeper payment will help keep Australians in jobs as tackle the significant economic impact from the coronavirus.
The payment will be open to eligible businesses that receive a significant financial hit caused by the coronavirus.” – Media release by the prime minister
Employers (including non-for-profits) will be eligible for the subsidy if:
- their business has a turnover of less than $1 billion and their turnover will be reduced by more than 30 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); or
- their business has a turnover of $1 billion or more and their turnover will be reduced by more than 50 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); and
- the business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.
To receive the JobKeeper Payment, employers must:
- Register an intention to apply on the ATO website and assess that they have or will experience the required turnover decline.
- Provide information to the ATO on eligible employees. This includes information on the number of eligible employees engaged as at 1 March 2020 and those currently employed by the business (including those stood down or rehired). For most businesses, the ATO will use Single Touch Payroll data to pre-populate the employee details for the business.
- Ensure that each eligible employee receives at least $1,500 per fortnight (before tax).
- For employees that were already receiving this amount from the employer they will continue to receive their regular income according to their prevailing workplace arrangements.
- For employees that have been receiving less than this amount, the employer will need to top up the payment to the employee
up to $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.
- And for those employees earning more than this amount, the
employer is able to provide them with a top-up.
- Notify all eligible employees that they are receiving the JobKeeper Payment.
- Continue to provide information to the ATO on a monthly basis, including the number of eligible employees employed by the business.
COVID-19: Whole of population telehealth for patients, general practice, primary care and other medical services
“To provide continued access to essential primary health services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Government is expanding Medicare-subsidised telehealth services for all Australians and providing extra incentives to general practitioners and other health practitioners.”
“Services will include GP services and some consultation services provided by other medical specialists, nurse practitioners, mental health treatment, chronic disease management, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health assessments, services to people with eating disorders, pregnancy support counselling, services to patients in aged care facilities, children with autism, and after-hours consultations.”
- GPs bulk billing incentive doubled for both face-to-face and telehealth services.
- Further announcements will be made during the week that will allow GPs and other providers to apply their usual billing practices to telehealth consultations, while concessional and vulnerable patients will continue to receive services at no cost.
Commencement: 8AM Monday 30 March
Until: 30 September 2020
Power Diary, a practice management software, has released its new built-in telehealth feature. This integrated telehealth feature allows you to conduct your sessions via video without leaving the Power Diary platform.
“Due to recent restrictions in travel and personal interaction associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic and to support expanded capabilities for all service providers in their delivery of tele-health services, … qualified professionals are hereby granted a limited and revocable permission to utilize appropriate non-public facing teleconferencing software and tools to assist in the remote administration of Pearson assessment content, consistent with this letter.”