Another week. Another MBS update. And more confusion plus a little clarity…

The MBS schedule has been updated to include 2 new ‘COVID-19’ Telehealth items specifically designed for anaesthetists. The items essentially mirror the existing 17615 (preoperative attendance and evaluation for 15-30 minutes):

  • 92701: for a video/Telehealth conference
  • 92712: for a telephone conference, where video is not available.

There is no requirement for bulk-billing, no restriction as to regional use, nor any requirement for either party to have COVID-19 or be isolating because of it. However, it can only be used for non-admitted patients.

The items are effective as of 22nd May, 2020 and cannot be used for dates prior to this.

There still don’t appear to be Telehealth/telephone items corresponding to 17610 (a basic preoperative consult item). While anaesthetists had been using items 91822/3 and 91832/3 as ‘surrogate’ items for the 17610 (see our previous post), these have continued to be knocked back by Medicare despite the intervention of the ASA regarding the items. We await further developments.

For further details of the changes, see this link…