Changes to Telehealth Items from October 1, 2020:

Bulk Billing No Longer Required & Temporary COVID-19 Bulk Billing Incentives Cease

From Thursday October 1, 2020, Medicare will no longer require practices to bulk bill vulnerable or at-risk patients for Telehealth appointments. This means practices will have more freedom to privately bill for Telehealth. 

Summary of the changes from October 1, 2020

  • GPs and OMPs providing COVID-19 Telehealth services are not required to bulk bill their patients
  • Temporary MBS COVID-19 bulk billing incentive items 10981 (for GPs) and 10982 (for OMPs) will cease
  • The temporary doubling of fees for MBS bulk billing incentive items 10990, 10991, 10992, 64990, 64991, 74990 and 74991 will cease

See the Medicare fact sheet

Telehealth items will only attract a Medicare rebate where there is an established relationship with the patient, meaning the medical practitioner performing the service:

  • Has provided a face-to-face service to the patient in the last 12 months; or
  • Is located at a medical practice where the patient has had a face-to-face service arranged by that practice in the last 12 months; or
  • Is part of a Medical Deputising Service program that has a formal agreement with a medical practice and has provided at least one face-to-face service to the patient in the last 12 months

The existing relationship requirement does not apply to:

  • Children under the age of 12 months;
  • People who are homeless;
  • Patients living in a COVID-19 impacted area (this refers to where a person’s movement is restricted by a State or Territory public health requirement that applies to the person’s location, including patients subject to quarantine and other restrictions intended to support infection control–Current COVID-19 impacted areas in Victoria are listed here); or
  • Patients receiving an urgent after-hours (unsociable hours) service; or
  • Patients of medical practitioners at an Aboriginal Medical Service or an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service

How to modify your HotDoc Telehealth screening settings in response to the new changes

  • If you want to continue bulk billing Telehealth for these patients, you don’t have to do anything
  • If you want to start privately billing Telehealth for these patients, you should update the bulk billing appointment type in your Telehealth mode settings

Still phoning patients to take Telehealth payments?

HotDoc payments is the easier, faster and more secure alternative. 

  • Automatically accept payments from online bookings
  • Free up receptionists from manually processing payments 
  • Customise how much you want to charge for different appointment types 

You can also use HotDoc payments for face-to-face appointments.

Already a HotDoc customer? Find out more by contacting your Customer Success Manager.

Not a HotDoc customer? Find out more by calling 1300 468 362 or emailing [email protected].

Learn more about HotDoc Payments