Telehealth Services introduced in response to COVID-19 will be ongoing
From 1 January 2022, telehealth services introduced in response to COVID-19 will be ongoing. Eligible patients all around Australia will continue to have access to GP, nursing, midwifery and allied health services via telehealth where the health professional deems it clinically appropriate. Read all details on the Commonwealth Dept of Health website at health-alerts/covid-19
Extension of Telehealth until Dec 2021
From 13 March to 31 December 2021, new temporary MBS telehealth items have been made available to help reduce the risk of community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) and provide protection for patients and health care providers.
Telehealth Update: No Changes for NP's
We have today received the update that the COVID 19 Telehealth items for patients of Nurse Practitioners will continue unchanged until March 2021.
Please note, there are no changes to NP related items or reimbursement, here is the link to the update,(http://www.mbsonline.gov.au/internet/mbsonline/publishing.nsf/Content/news-201001) which details changes to some of the existing arrangements for GPs, and outlines how the remainder of the COVID 19 Telehealth Arrangements are unchanged.
Telehealth Update: Important links to assist you
Update from the Primary Health Care Covid-19 Response Teleconference (Meeting 17) - IMPORTANT links to assist you.
Telehealth Update: Removing the requirement for NP's to bulk bill the COVID-19 Telehealth items
The latest update to the COVID 19 Telehealth items has been released and removes the requirement for nurse practitioners to bulk bill the COVID 19 Telehealth items. Please note there are no new items added for Nurse Practitioners.
As always, the ACNP strongly encourages you to do the reading, and apply this determination to your own practice and business, as every situation is different. Also, the situation does change quite frequently, so please make a habit of setting aside some time at the beginning of every day to check for any changes, updates or new information available. We will also be providing frequent updates.
The intent of the COVID 19 items is for the provision of Telehealth or Telephone health care only where possible and appropriate. Telephone should be used where Telehealth/videoconference facilities are not available. Some consultations will still need to be completed in person in order to allow for physical examination and assessment.
To quote the new determination available at https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2020L00442
ACNP response to stage 5 specialist items for telehealth
"The ACNP recommends the addition of MBS items, and amendment to existing items for Nurse Practitioners to improve access to care. Nurse Practitioners currently are very limited by the MBS as per the report of the Nurse Practitioner Reference Group under the current MBS Review. This report provides extensive evidence to support improvements and changes to the MBS rebates available to people accessing Nurse Practitioner services.
While we fully support each of the 14 recommendations of the NPRG, the ACNP have identified four key issues impacting on the ability of people to access Nurse Practitioner care. During this time, we need all available and skilled health care professionals working to full capacity and abilities."
Please click on the link below to view the full response from the ACNP in relation to the Consultation on stage 5 for specialist items for telehealth
Resources to assist you with Telehealth
ACNP has accessed a discount for members to use for Telehealth options through Coviu. Coviu provides software for video visits so you can extend the outstanding face-to-face care you give patients to online consultations.
ACNP members can receive 20% off for 3 months on all the plans. Coviu is browser based (no downloads or installations required) and all plans come with a free trial.
ACNP members have received their discount code by email - if you have misplaced yours please contact the office on 1300 433 660 to get access.
You can sign up online here: https://www.coviu.com/coviu-for-allied-health/ and you will be up and running within the same day.
Australian Government - Australian Digital Health Agency - https://www.digitalhealth.gov.au/get-started-with-digital-health/electronic-prescriptions
Ahpra - Telehealth Guidance for practitioners - https://www.ahpra.gov.au/News/COVID-19/Telehealth-guidance-for-practitioners.aspx
The Curtain University and La Trobe University are providing a webinar on "Providing virtual care in allied health: the possibilities and potential of telehealth during the pandemic and beyond."
In this webinar, the panel will offer their perspectives on telehealth and discuss their personal experiences of providing virtual care in allied health and interprofessional settings.
To read more and to register click here.
Panellists will discuss the following in both pre- and post-COVID-19 contexts:
- How they have leveraged technology to advantage their profession and patients
- What was involved in the transition to telehealth (or how they have scaled up or down as a result of the pandemic)
- When telehealth is (or is not) appropriate and the practical aspects of implementation
- Where they source advice on platforms, technology and digital capabilities
- How they communicate with patients, manage consent and address concerns about data safety and security
- Recent telehealth developments within and across allied health professions and between disciplines
- The current legislative environment, evolving best practices, future possibilities and unresolved issues.
MBS Changes Factsheet: COVID-19 Temporary MBS Telehealth Services Changes (please note Telehealth is first on the list)
Prescribing Fact Sheet:
ACCRM - TeleHealth Quick Start Guide - TeleHealth- Quick Start Guide - ACRRM
ACRRM - How to do a high quality remote consultation - Work Flow for a Telehealth consult
ACCRM links to Telehealth http://www.ehealth.acrrm.org.au/