AGPT registrar training handbook

Training placements

Apply for a Medicare provider number

        1. Apply for a Medicare provider number

Apply for a Medicare provider number

It is vital that you have a Medicare provider number before you start a core vocational training term. Your provider number gives your patients access to Medicare for all or part of their healthcare. This means that you can’t work if you don’t have a provider number, and any time without a provider number can’t be counted as training time. You are responsible for applying for your provider number for each of your placements during training.

Your application for a Medicare provider number must be completed via the RACGP process; you can’t apply directly to Services Australia. We’ll send you the AGPT Provider Number Application Form as part of the placement process. The form needs to be completed by both you and the training site before being submitted to us electronically. We’ll make sure the form is complete and will submit it to Services Australia on your behalf.

Services Australia will process your application and send your Medicare provider number to you by mail. Please check that you’ve been issued the correct type of provider number that allows patients to obtain rebates.

If you’re undertaking your extended skills term in a hospital setting, they will normally have their own process for applying for Medicare provider numbers. Please ensure you speak to the relevant staff member to confirm this and let your training coordinator know.

What if I work in multiple placements?
A Medicare provider number uniquely identifies both you and the place you work. You must have a separate provider number for each training site (eg branches of your practice, associated hospitals). You can’t use a single Medicare provider number across multiple training sites.

How long does it take to get a Medicare provider number?
We’ll send you the AGPT Provider Number Application Form as part of the placement process. We encourage you to complete the form and return it to us promptly. Once we submit it to Services Australia, it can take up to eight weeks for your provider number to be sent to you. You can find current processing times on the Services Australia website; however, we advise you to allow six to eight weeks in case there is a delay. Services Australia has a strict process to ensure fairness for all applicants and the RACGP is unable to influence the processing times. Timelines may vary between regions; please get in touch with your training team for information relevant to your region.

TIP

Medicare cannot and will not backdate applications received after you have commenced work. Be sure to have your provider number before you begin your placement.

What happens if I don’t receive a Medicare provider number in time for my placement?
If you don’t have a provider number, it may mean you can’t start work, as your patients won’t be able to claim the Medicare rebate.

What if I change training sites?
If you change training sites, you must apply for a new provider number. We’ll send you a new Medicare provider number application form. Be sure to apply early and allow plenty of time for your new provider number to be issued as it may take another eight weeks to get another provider number. 

Will my training site and the RACGP be notified of my Medicare provider number?
No. Services Australia will only send your provider number to you. It is your responsibility to notify your training site and the RACGP of your provider number as soon as you receive it, to ensure you’re able to start at your training site as planned.

How long is my Medicare provider number valid?
Services Australia issues Medicare provider numbers for six months (and in some circumstances for 12 months), depending on the length of your placement. You must reapply to ensure you maintain a provider number throughout your training.

It is your responsibility to monitor when your Medicare provider number is due to expire.

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