Coronavirus information for health professionals

Information and services to help you treat patients affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

New MBS attendance and telehealth items

If you provide phone and video services to patients, use the new MBS items.

The new items can be used for the following services provided after 13 March 2020:

  • general attendances
  • health assessments
  • chronic disease management and team care arrangements
  • early interventions for children with autism, pervasive developmental disorder or disability
  • mental health treatment and planning
  • eating disorder treatment and management
  • focussed psychological strategies
  • pregnancy support counselling
  • antenatal and postnatal attendances.

You need your patient’s agreement to bulk bill the items, before we can pay you the Medicare benefit.

You can get their agreement either:

  • in writing
  • by email
  • verbally during the consultation.

You must keep a record of the agreement.

You can claim the new items with existing bulk bill incentive items.

New MBS pathology items for coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you perform pathology tests, use the new MBS pathology items.

The items support pathology labs to continue to provide critical services to Australians.

From 1 April 2020 you can use item 69479 or 69480 for tests you perform for COVID-19.

If you performed tests between 13 and 31 March 2020, you can increase your Medicare benefits by claiming item 69485 and either:

  • item 69476
  • item 69477.

You don’t need to request an adjustment for claims you’ve already made.

Digital medical certificates

Using HPOS, you can lodge a Medical Certificate form (SU683) directly to your patient’s Centrelink record. This means your patient doesn’t need to visit a service centre in person.

Your patient can also use their Centrelink online account or Express Plus Centrelink app to upload their medical documents.

Read more coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for health and aged care professionals on the Department of Health website.

Continued dispensing of PBS medicine during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Under continued dispensing arrangements, you can give patients up to 1 month supply of their PBS medicine without a prescription.

This arrangement will be in place until 30 June 2020.

It applies to most PBS/RPBS medicines supplied through community pharmacies including medicines used for:

  • asthma
  • lung disease
  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • mental illness.

It means patients who have ongoing medical needs can access their usual medicines at PBS prices.

You can only dispense a medicine if it hasn’t been dispensed under the arrangement in the last 12 months. You must only dispense medicines if it meets the continued dispensing guidelines.

You must be satisfied the patient’s medicinal need is urgent before dispensing and has previously been prescribed the medicine.

It’s your responsibility to make sure you’re following the necessary legislation before supplying under continued dispensing. This includes your relevant state and territory legislation.

Read more about continued dispensing on the PBS website.

Page last updated: 1 April 2020