AMA and AGPA call for extension of telehealth eligibility

The Australian GP Alliance (AGPA) and the Australian Medical Association (AMA) have joined other doctors' groups in calling for an extension to the rules covering the new MBS telehealth item numbers during the coronavirus pandemic.

AGPA director Mukesh Haikerwal said today that the limitation on the ability to consult remotely to doctors who have held a face-to-face consultation with the patient in the last 12 months was too restrictive, describing it as “unhelpful”.

Posted in Australian eHealth

Tags: AMA, Telehealth, AGPA

Comments  

0 # Oliver Frank 2020-03-17 09:34
Well said.
Reply
0 # Angela Conway 2020-03-17 15:34
Our paediatric practice has reluctantly decided to see patients by telehealth unless physical exam is necessary. With fewer, more controlled visits our doctors and staff will be better able to manage infection and other risk control. Yes, the telehealth items are restricted to a ridiculous extent- why not let practices in the business of day to day provision of care in the community inform decision-making . But unlike GPs and many others, our Paediatricians have been completely disregarded to the point that the new postnatal attendance items fail to acknowledge paediatricians attending newborns in private hospital and in the community. Children with severe conditions like Autism must wait for their item 135 appointment indefinitely as telehealth is not allowed even though no physical exam is necessary for that item. That means no HCWA referrals for early intervention. In the new COVID telehealth items, a parent is considered eligible as vulnerable because of the vulnerability of their baby but the item does not, on its face, even contemplate a paediatrician having the infant with the actual vulnerability as their patient. Numerous other failures could be cited. I have written to the Health Minister, but no response.Our practice has had the Medicare system almost completely ripped out from under us and staffing will have to be cut to help fund the massive shortfalls. A Conway
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