New restrictions on MBS telehealth items

20 Jul 2020

Dr Sara Bird

by Dr Sara Bird

Hands typing on a laptop

From Monday 20 July 2020, GPs and other medical practitioners working in general practice can only bill an MBS COVID-19 telehealth and telephone attendance where they have a relationship with the patient.

The MBS telehealth items will be restricted to the patient’s usual medical practitioner (other than a specialist or consultant physician) who:

  • has provided at least one service (excluding telehealth and phone attendances) to the patient in the past 12 months, or
  • is located in a medical practice at which at least one service to the patient was provided, or arranged by, in the past 12 months, or
  • is a participant in the Approved Medical Deputising Service that has an agreement in place with a medical practice which has provided at least one service to the patient in the past 12 months.

These changes do not apply to telehealth services provided to a person who is:

  • under the age of 12 months, or
  • experiencing homelessness, or
  • in a COVID-19 impacted area (movement restricted by a public health requirement applying to the patient’s location), or
  • receiving the service from a medical practitioner located at an Aboriginal Medical Service/Community Controlled Health Service.


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This blog contains general information only. We recommend you contact your medical defence organisation or insurer when you require specific advice in relation to medico-legal matters.



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