Push to extend telehealth rebates

ALL GP-facilitated telehealth consultations should be eligible for an MBS rebate, doctors’ groups argue, not just those that take place in rural and remote settings. 

Beginning 1 July this year, the rebates are part of a $352 million budget initiative to provide rebates to GPs and specialists to conduct video-linked, telephone or online consultations for patients in rural, remote and outer metropolitan locations.

The rebates were part of the 2010 federal budget and will be overseen by the Federal Health Department. 

Under the proposed model, GPs would need to be present during most consultations and would receive a yet to be determined rebate. 

However, in a submission to the department, the AMA has called for rebates to include consultations with patients in metropolitan areas when clinically appropriate.

The RACGP also called for an extension of the initiative to include GPs consulting nurses in community