COVID-19 Temporary MBS Telehealth Services

Factsheets on the use of the temporary MBS telehealth and phone consultation item numbers.

Page last updated: 24 September 2021

Commencing 13 March 2020 and extending until 31 December 2021 temporary MBS telehealth items have been made available to help reduce the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 and provide protection for patients and health care providers.

The temporary MBS telehealth items are available to GPs, medical practitioners, specialists, consultant physicians, nurse practitioners, participating midwives, allied health providers and dental practitioners in the practice of oral and maxillofacial surgery.
A service may only be provided by telehealth where it is safe and clinically appropriate to do so.

It is a legislative requirement that GPs and Other Medical Practitioners (OMPs) working in general practice can only perform a telehealth or telephone service where they have an established clinical relationship with the patient. There are limited exemptions to this requirement.

GP and OMP COVID-19 telehealth services are eligible for MBS incentive payments when provided as bulk billed services to Commonwealth concession card holders and children under 16 years of age. All providers are expected to obtain informed financial consent from patients prior to charging private fees for COVID-19 telehealth services.

From 16 July 2021, the list of exemptions to the ‘usual medical practitioner’ rule have been changed to apply a nationally consistent approach. The current test for exempting patients who have their movement restricted by a State and Territory public health order have been replaced with three separate criteria; the patient is in COVID-19 isolation because of a State or Territory public health order; the patient is in COVID-19 quarantine because of a State or Territory public health order; the patient is located in an COVID-19 hotspot as declared by the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer.

Commencing 15 September 2021, 40 new temporary MBS telehealth items (20 video and 20 phone) will be available when the admitting specialist medical practitioner is unable to attend their patient in hospital due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Recent COVID-19 outbreaks have meant that some medical specialists are required to isolate or quarantine for a period of time, limiting their ability to provide face-to-face Medicare consultations with their admitted private patients.

All other temporary MBS telehealth items are for out-of-hospital patients only.


Factsheets

Fact SheetPDF and Word versions
Item Summary Temporary Specialist Inpatient Services
(Last updated: 14 September 2021)
PDF version Item Summary Specialist Inpatient Services (PDF 256 KB)
Word version Item Summary Specialist Inpatient Services (Word 98 KB)
Factsheet Temporary Specialist Inpatient Services
(Last updated: 13 September 2021)
PDF version Temporary Specialist Inpatient Services (PDF 207 KB)
Word version Temporary Specialist Inpatient Services (Word 87 KB)
Quick reference Guide Temporary Specialist Inpatient Services
(Last updated: 13 September 2021)
PDF version QRG temporary Specialist Inpatient Services (PDF 271 KB)
Word version QRG temporary Specialist Inpatient Services (Word 92 KB)
GPs and OMPs Services
(Last updated: 30 July 2021)
PDF temporary GP and OMP Services (PDF 350 KB)
Word temporary GP and OMP Services (Word 112 KB)
GPs and OMPs Services
(Last updated: 01 July 2021)
PDF temporary GP and OMP Services (PDF 322 KB)
Word temporary GP and OMP Services (Word 103 KB)
GPs and OMPs Services
(Last updated: 27 April 2021)
PDF temporary GP and OMP Services (PDF 294 KB)
Word temporary GP and OMP Services (DOCX 105 KB)
Mental Health Services
(Last updated: 08 May 2020)
PDF temporary Mental Health Services (PDF 400 KB)
Word temporary Mental Health Services (DOCX 96 KB)
Specialists Services
(Last updated: 28 June 2021)
PDF temporary Specialist Services (PDF 284 KB)
Word temporary Specialist Services (Word 107 KB)
Specialists Services
(Last updated: 27 April 2021)
PDF temporary Specialist Services (PDF 267 KB)
Word temporary Specialist Services (DOCX 110 KB)
Obstetric Attendances
(Last updated: 25 June 2021)
PDF temporary Obstetric Attendances (PDF 242 KB)
Word temporary Obstetric Attendances (Word 98 KB)
Obstetric Attendances
(Last updated: 27 April 2021)
PDF temporary Obstetric Attendances (PDF 229 KB)
Word temporary Obstetric Attendances (DOCX 105 KB)
Participating Midwifery Services
(Last updated: 25 June 2021)
PDF temporary Midwifery Services (PDF 238 KB)
Word temporary Midwifery Services (Word 93 KB)
Participating Midwifery Services
(Last updated: 27 April 2021)
PDF temporary Midwifery Services (PDF 242 KB)
Word temporary Midwifery Services (DOCX 100 KB)
Allied Health Services
(Last updated: 25 June 2021)
PDF temporary Allied Health Services (PDF 270 KB)
Word temporary Allied Health Services (Word 108 KB)
Allied Health Services
(Last updated: 27 April 2021)
PDF temporary Allied Health Services (PDF 235 KB)
Word temporary Allied Health Services (DOCX 109 KB)
Allied Health Frequently Asked Questions
(Last updated: 25 June 2021)
PDF FAQ Allied Health Services (PDF 260 KB)
Word FAQ Allied Health Services (Word 88 KB)
Allied Health Frequently Asked Questions
(Last updated: 27 April 2021)
PDF FAQ Allied Health Services (PDF 262 KB)
Word FAQ Allied Health Services (DOCX 94 KB)
Dental Practitioners in the Practice of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Services
(Last updated: 28 June 2021)
PDF temporary OMS services (PDF 257 KB)
Word temporary OMS services (Word 94 KB)
Dental Practitioners in the Practice of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Services
(Last updated: 27 April 2021)
PDF temporary OMS services (PDF 217 KB)
Word temporary OMS services (DOCX 102 KB)
Nurse Practitioner Services
(Last updated: 25 June 2021)
PDF temporary NP Services (PDF 214 KB)
Word temporary NP Services (Word 94 KB)
Nurse Practitioner Services
(Last updated: 27 April 2021)
PDF temporary NP Services (PDF 217 KB)
Word temporary NP Services (DOCX 102 KB)
Consumer Information
(Last updated: 25 June 2021)
PDF consumer information (PDF 278 KB)
Word consumer information (Word 103 KB)
Consumer Information
(Last updated: 22 March 2021)
PDF consumer information (PDF 116 KB)
Word consumer information (DOCX 109 KB)
Bulk Billing Incentives Frequently Asked Questions
(Last updated: 17 September 2020)
PDF FAQ Bulk Billing Incentives (PDF 232 KB)
Word FAQ Bulk Billing Incentives (DOCX 94 KB)
Provider Frequently Asked Questions
(Last updated: 26 July 2021)
PDF FAQ Providers (PDF 308 KB)
Word FAQ Providers (Word 98 KB)
Provider Frequently Asked Questions
(Last updated: 25 June 2021)
PDF FAQ Providers (PDF 307 KB)
Word FAQ Providers (Word 97 KB)
Provider Frequently Asked Questions
(Last updated: 27 April 2021)
PDF FAQ Providers (PDF 141 KB)
Word FAQ Providers (DOCX 102 KB)
Psychiatry Frequently Asked Questions
(Last updated: 28 June 2021)
PDF FAQ Psychiatry (PDF 261 KB)
Word FAQ Psychiatry (Word 98 KB)
Psychiatry Frequently Asked Questions
(Last updated: 27 April 2021)
PDF FAQ Psychiatry (PDF 262 KB)
Word FAQ Psychiatry (DOCX 101 KB)
Blood borne viruses, sexual or reproductive health services Frequently Asked Questions
(Last updated: 21 June 2021)
PDF FAQ Blood borne viruses, sexual or reproductive health services (PDF 208 KB)
Word FAQ Blood borne viruses, sexual or reproductive health services (Word 90 KB)

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