Feds remain reluctant to roll back restrictions on long telephone consults

The federal government will allow GPs to claim long telephone consultations for Covid-19 antiviral prescribing but only temporarily, signalling it is unlikely to budge from its decision to remove MBS items for phone consults lasting longer than 20 minutes.

Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler announced on the weekend that temporary MBS items would be made available to cover a longer consultation by phone to ensure antivirals are safely prescribed by doctors and that patients start taking them within five days of symptoms.

Posted in Australian eHealth

Tags: Telehealth, Coviu


0 # Terry Hannan 2022-07-19 09:10
Another element of the Telehealth discussions should be around the use of "asynchronous communications" . The complexities and time-wasting involved in coordinating patient-clinici an online communications. If the patient is known and has had prior FTF encounters use of, e-communication s and reimbursement should be used. Patients and clinicans' benefit from this form of communication and documentation is a byproduct of the process thus reducing the ambiguity or non-documentati on that commonly occurs. As Prof. L. Weed wrote in 1989: “ The patient may not seem well educated or very bright to you, but what could be more unintelligent than what we are doing?”
We must think of the whole information system, and not just infinitely elaborate on the parts that interests us or fit into a given specialty. Patients do not specialize, and they or their families are in charge of all the relevant variables 24 hours a day, every day. They must be given the right tools to work with. They are the most neglected source of better quality and savings in the whole health care system. After all:
They are highly motivated, and if they are not, nothing works in the long run anyway. They do not charge. They even pay to help.
There is one for every member of the population.”
0 # Loddon Mallee Rural Health Alliance staffer 2022-07-20 12:16
In Regional areas the requirement to see your GP within 12 month before Medicare will allow a Medicare Telehealth rebate is causing significant financial strain to communities that simply cannot access any local GP. The theory of continuity of care is a great idea, but so many rural community's have no access to a GP. Thanks to this requirement regional communities continue to pay more for health services. We are now seeing a financial crisis in regional communities with low income families no-longer able to afford food due to increased costs for basic services.
I work at a Base Hospital and we have a 10foot sign at the front entrance asking people to use online GP service to prevent unnecessary ED presentations. Please allow regional communities to access an online GP when no other is available.

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