Changes to MBS telehealth items


Changes from 1 July 2021

From 1 July 2021, the majority of MBS items for general practice services provided by telephone (audio-only) will be removed. There are no changes to videoconferencing items.

Two new GP phone items will be introduced:

  • A short consultation item (<6 minutes) for straightforward care (item 91890)
  • A longer consultation item (>6 minutes) for more complex attendances (item 91891)

The following phone items will remain available until 31 December 2021:

  • Pregnancy support counselling (item 92138)
  • Eating disorder psychological treatment service (EDPT), 30–40 minutes (item 92194)
  • EDPT service, >40 minutes (item 92196)
  • Review of an eating disorder treatment and management plan (item 92176)
  • Focussed Psychological Strategies (FPS) treatment, 30–40 minutes (item 91842)
  • FPS treatment, >40 minutes (item 91843)
  • Mental health treatment consultation, >20 minutes (item 92127)
  • Review of a GP mental health treatment plan or Psychiatrist Assessment and Management Plan (item 92126)

There is no requirement to bulk bill MBS telehealth items (video or phone). GPs are free to apply their usual billing practices to these items.

The RACGP will continue to advocate for an expanded range of MBS phone items given the value and convenience they offer for patients.

Existing relationship requirement

The requirement to have had a face-to-face attendance with the GP providing the service, or another practitioner at the same practice, at least once in the previous 12 months is still in place for the majority of GP telehealth items. The following exemptions are being introduced from 1 July:

  • Items for pregnancy counselling (existing items under MBS Group A40)
  • Blood borne viruses, sexual or reproductive health (new items – see below)

Exemptions to the requirement continue to apply for urgent after-hours attendances during unsociable hours (item 92210), GP obstetric services (items 91850–91853 and 91855–91858) and allied health services provided on behalf of a GP (items 93200–93203).

New items for blood borne viruses, sexual or reproductive health services

There are eight new time-based items (video and phone) for blood borne viruses, sexual or reproductive health consultations with a GP. The items should be used for services related to blood borne viruses, sexual or reproductive health, excluding assisted reproductive technology and antenatal care. Section 100 drugs can be prescribed under these items, if clinically relevant.

UPDATE: Longer telephone consultations reinstated in COVID-19 hotspots

At a press conference on Thursday 15 July, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that Medicare-supported telephone consultations lasting more than 20 minutes will return to Commonwealth declared COVID-19 hotspots.

MBS rebates for Level C telephone consultations with a GP took effect on Friday 16 July. A new MBS item (92746) was introduced for a phone attendance by a GP lasting at least 20 minutes, if the service is performed on a person who is in:

  • a COVID-19 Commonwealth declared hotspot
  • COVID-19 isolation or quarantine because of a state or territory public health order.

An MBS item for Level C phone attendances by other medical practitioners (92747) is also available.

Visit MBS Online for more information.

Further information

More information on the 1 July changes is available in fact sheets published on MBS Online. Full item descriptors and rebates for the new telehealth items can be found below.

COVID-19 general practice phone services

Item number

Descriptor

Rebate

91890

Phone attendance by a general practitioner lasting less than 6 minutes for an obvious problem characterised by the straightforward nature of the task that requires a short patient history and, if required, limited management

$17.90

91891

Phone attendance by a general practitioner lasting at least 6 minutes if the attendance includes any of the following that are clinically relevant:

  1. taking a short patient history;
  2. arranging any necessary investigation;
  3. implementing a management plan;
  4. providing appropriate preventative health care

$39.10

 

GP blood borne viruses, sexual or reproductive health consultations

Item number

Descriptor

Rebate

92715

Telehealth attendance for the provision of services related to blood borne viruses, sexual or reproductive health by a general practitioner of not more than 5 minutes if the attendance includes any of the following that are clinically relevant:

  1. taking a short patient history;
  2. arranging any necessary investigation;
  3. implementing a management plan;
  4. providing appropriate preventive health care

$17.90

92718

Telehealth attendance for the provision of services related to blood borne viruses, sexual or reproductive health by a general practitioner of more than 5 minutes in duration but not more than 20 minutes if the attendance includes any of the following that are clinically relevant:

  1. taking a patient history;
  2. arranging any necessary investigation;
  3. implementing a management plan;
  4. providing appropriate preventive health care

$39.10

92721

Telehealth attendance for the provision of services related to blood borne viruses, sexual or reproductive health by a general practitioner of more than 20 minutes in duration but not more than 40 minutes if the attendance includes any of the following that are clinically relevant:

  1. taking a detailed patient history;
  2. arranging any necessary investigation;
  3. implementing a management plan;
  4. providing appropriate preventive health care

$75.75

92724

Telehealth attendance for the provision of services related to blood borne viruses, sexual or reproductive health by a general practitioner lasting at least 40 minutes in duration if the attendance includes any of the following that are clinically relevant:

  1. taking a detailed patient history;
  2. arranging any necessary investigation;
  3. implementing a management plan;
  4. providing appropriate preventive health care

$111.50

92731

Phone attendance for the provision of services related to blood borne viruses, sexual or reproductive health by a general practitioner of not more than 5 minutes if the attendance includes any of the following that are clinically relevant:

  1. taking a short patient history;
  2. arranging any necessary investigation;
  3. implementing a management plan;
  4. providing appropriate preventive health care

$17.90

92734

Phone attendance for the provision of services related to blood borne viruses, sexual or reproductive health by a general practitioner of more than 5 minutes in duration but not more than 20 minutes if the attendance includes any of the following that are clinically relevant:

  1. taking a patient history;
  2. arranging any necessary investigation;
  3. implementing a management plan;
  4. providing appropriate preventive health care

$39.10

92737

Phone attendance for the provision of services related to blood borne viruses, sexual or reproductive health by a general practitioner of more than 20 minutes in duration but not more than 40 minutes if the attendance includes any of the following that are clinically relevant:

  1. taking a detailed patient history;
  2. arranging any necessary investigation;
  3. implementing a management plan;
  4. providing appropriate preventive health care

$75.75

92740

Phone attendance for the provision of services related to blood borne viruses, sexual or reproductive health by a general practitioner lasting at least 40 minutes in duration if the attendance includes any of the following that are clinically relevant:

  1. taking an extensive patient history;
  2. arranging any necessary investigation;
  3. implementing a management plan;
  4. providing appropriate preventive health care

$111.50

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