Shortly after the MBS changes incorporating new COVID-19 items became valid, we noticed that some of the telehealth items were being consistently rejected by Medicare – items 91822 (Telehealth attendance by a specialist) and 91833 (phone attendance by a specialist). These items have a higher rebate than the ‘other doctor’ items which are used by non-specialists.

We escalated the information about these rejections via Dr Mark Sinclair to the ASA who have now become involved.

We understand that several phone calls have been going back and forth between the ASA and senior government Department officials. Our understanding is that the Department certainly supports anaesthetists being able to use the items but that there is some sort of ‘administrative error’.

Until it is sorted out, we recommend holding on to your accounts using these items until the Department has sorted out a fix.

Keep tuned for more updates.