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COVID MBS items Explainer and FAQs, No. 34, 23 April 2020

Dear Doctors and Health Care Workers

Before answering only one question today, I have one correction/addition, and one update:

1.  For the geriatrician who correctly allocated item 92623 reported in last night’s bulletin, there was another option that I omitted which was that you could also claim item 141+149 usual telehealth because the patient was in a nursing home which is a telehealth eligible area. I thought of it as soon as my head hit the pillow and updated today via the website post here. So, I just wanted to clarify that the COVID item you chose was correct but you had another option. You could choose either:

i) Covid telehealth, or

ii) Usual telehealth

Given usual telehealth attracts greater rebates, it is probably your best option moving forward.

To the two geriatricians who raised this in today’s questions – top job! You were spot on.

2.  I mentioned last week that I was writing a blog to explain in more detail the issues around mandatory bulk billing and the Constitution. Well I am happy to report that the work has been finalised today and will be published tomorrow. If you follow me on twitter @MargaretFaux I’ll share once it has been published by the editors, but I’ll also provide links in tomorrow’s bulletin.

Here is the answer to today’s question

1.  I am a nurse practitioner in a public hospital. Are the new COVID-19 Nurse Practitioner telephone and telehealth codes MBS codes applicable to NPs in metropolitan public hospitals or only to regional, rural and remote NPs?

So, this is an interesting question. NPs cannot bill in public hospitals at all as a general rule, even for outpatient services, as it is not permitted pursuant to the provisions of the National Health Reform Agreement.

NP services are essentially private practice only – just like GPs.

However, at remote facilities with Section 19(2) exemptions, NP services may be claimable.

Need more information here to make an initial assessment. Please feel to contact me for a chat about it. 

Thanks everyone

Till tomorrow.

Margaret and the Synapse team.

COVID MBS items explainer and FAQs No. 35, 24 April 2020…Read more

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