Dear Doctors and Health Care Workers
HUGE NEWS – A new Determination has appeared on the register today that wasn’t there yesterday (unless I’m going mad) that appears to have effectively ended forced bulk billing for everyone except GPs.
Here’s the link https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2020L00442 and here’s the summary:
“This instrument amends the Health Insurance (Section 3C General Medical Services – COVID-19 Telehealth and Telephone Attendances) Determination 2020 to remove the requirement for specialists and consultant physicians, nurse practitioners, midwifes and allied health professionals to bulk-bill certain telehealth or phone health consultations. The instrument also lists 28 additional telehealth and phone service items. relating to neurosurgery consultations, public health physician consultations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioner consultations and group psychotherapy services performed by psychiatrists”.
What we can see so far:
- Commencement date is tomorrow, 20th April 2020
- Self-sunsets on 1 October 2030 (is this an error?)
- Bulk billing only required for items in Schedule 1 (GP services). Specialist and other health worker services commence from Schedule 2
- Psychiatry group psychotherapy items 342, 344 and 346 are included
- Public Health Physician items 410, 411, 412 and 413 are included
- New item equivalents for neurosurgeons matching items 6007-6015 have also been added
- Outpatient only restriction remains in force
We will pour over it tomorrow and hunt down the exceptions (the devil is always in the detail as you all know) and provide a further update at the end of the day.
Margaret and the Synapse team.