Coronavirus and Medicare – What you need to know

The Commonwealth Government announced the release of new telehealth item codes for patients to claim a rebate from Medicare when they are seeing a GP via telehealth including Skype, Facetime or genuine telehealth platforms such as Doctors on Demand.

Am I eligible to claim a rebate for an online consultation?

The new Medicare items will be available for anyone diagnosed with coronavirus or placed in isolation on the advice of a national or state hotline or placed in isolation by a fever clinic, a doctor or a nurse. Consultations must be fully bulk billed by the GP Practice.

Medicare codes will also be available for “more susceptible” patients — whether or not they have been diagnosed with the virus. These include all pregnant women, all patients aged 70 or older, the parents of children younger than 12 months, those who are being treated for chronic conditions or are immunocompromised, and patients of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent aged older than 50.

However, to be eligible, these patients need to have seen the GP (not just another GP in the practice) actually providing the telephone or video consult at least once in the previous 12 months.

Under these circumstances, Doctors on Demand will not be eligible to apply the Medicare items to our GP video consultations, but as the Government moves to expand their criteria for eligibility, we will seek to make the rebates apply to our services as soon as possible.

Coronavirus Information Hotlines

The Australian Government has provided the following information if you are concerned about COVID-19.

The national 24/7 COVID-19 hotline 1800 020 080 has been expanded to help triage people with respiratory symptoms and those who are concerned about contact with a possible COVID-19 case.

Depending on their circumstances, people will be advised to attend a public hospital respiratory clinic, a primary care respiratory clinic, to self-isolate at home, to seek a medical practitioner telehealth consultation or to take no further action. This will help reduce the risk of transmission and conserve personal protective equipment.

If you suspect you may have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), please call either:

National COVID-19 triage hotline on 1800 020 080
OR

The dedicated DHHS hotline on 1800 675 398

And visit healthdirect.gov.au/coronavirus

 

I don’t have Coronavirus but need to see a Doctor

If you need to see a doctor for any other reason or just need a repeat prescription – you can avoid doctors’ waiting rooms by jumping online at Doctors on Demand. You can see an Australian-registered doctor online for a 15-minute consultation or complete a QuickScript for your regular medications through our purpose-built telehealth platform. And you can select from over 2,500 pharmacies across Australia to collect your medications.

Check out our services at Doctors on Demand – we are open 24/7 for doctors appointments and repeat prescription requests.

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