In Practice: Introducing mixed billing

Matt Woodley

17/03/2022 5:00:47 PM

RACGP President Dr Karen Price will next week present a webinar with Dr Emil Djakic on managing the transition to mixed billing.

Composite image representing healthcare billing.
An upcoming webinar will outline the benefits of a mixed billing model and how to manage the transition.

This week’s round up also includes information on changes to the existing patient rule in flood-affected areas, temporary telehealth arrangements for allied health providers treating veteran card holders, and information on how members can upskill on emergency medicine and children’s mental health care.
Introducing mixed billing in your practice webinar
Thursday 24 March, 7.00 pm – 8.00 pm AEDT.
Join Dr Karen Price and Dr Emil Djakic for this webinar on introducing mixed billing in your practice.
Dr Price will outline the benefits of a mixed billing model and how to manage the transition, including discussing fees with patients. The webinar will also include examples of billing changes and strategies to help you evaluate your options and what would work best for you personally.
Existing relationship requirement – exemption for flood-affected areas
Eligibility for MBS telehealth services provided by GPs has been amended, enabling patients living in flood-affected areas to access telehealth services from any GP or other medical practitioner (OMP).
This removes the need for patients to have had a face-to-face appointment with their GP at least once in the past 12 months.
A flood-affected area is a state or territory Local Government Area that is identified as a natural disaster zonedue to flood at the time of the service.
For the latest information on MBS telehealth services, visit MBS Online. The RACGP’s telehealth FAQs have also been updated.
Temporary allied health telehealth arrangements for veteran card holders
To ensure the continued safe delivery of allied healthcare during the Omicron outbreak, the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) has introduced temporary telehealth arrangements for initial and extended consultations up to 30 June 2022.
More details can be found on the DVA website.
Online workshop: Emergency medicine for rural GPs
Saturday 26 March, 1.00 pm – 5.00 pm AEDT
Designed and facilitated by experienced rural GPs and emergency specialists, this online workshop is worth 40 CPD points and aims to enhance rural emergency medicine skills using case scenarios that reflect rural and remote challenges.
It involves four small-group interactive case scenario discussions as well as an exploration of the critical considerations involved in managing rural emergency cases, packaging patients for retrieval, communicating effectively with retrieval teams, debriefing and self-care.
Register on the RACGP website.
RACGP and Emerging Minds webinar series
Thursday 31 March, 7.00 pm – 8.30 pm (AEDT)
Presented by Emerging Minds and RACGP Specific Interests Child and Young Persons Health, the first webinar will focus on infant and early childhood mental health – specifically, connecting with children and families.
GPs play a crucial role in the mental health and wellbeing of infants and young children.
Based on a case study with a focus on practice, this webinar will explore key concepts and evidence of infant and early childhood mental health, and the importance of using a child-centred and family-focused approach.
The practice skills required to effectively engage and connect with young children and their families, and related practice challenges will also be discussed. The panellists will also respond to practice challenges raised by webinar participants.
At the conclusion of this webinar, participants will be able to: 

  • identify key concepts in infant and early childhood mental health, including the common mental health conditions experienced by infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers
  • describe the importance and phases of a child-centred and family-focused approach to responding to infant and child mental health concerns
  • apply skills in engaging and connecting with young children and their families.
Register via the RACGP website.
Image-based prescribing extension for hospitals
Image-based prescribing was introduced as an interim arrangement while electronic prescribing capabilities were being developed.
With electronic prescribing now widely available and used across Australia, image-based prescribing arrangements in community healthcare settings will cease after 31 March.
However, electronic prescribing capabilities are not yet available for most hospitals who treat and care for patients most at risk from COVID-19, and will most likely not be available until 2023.
For this reason, the Department of Health (DoH) has announced that image-based prescribing capabilities will be extended until 31 March 2023 for hospitals.
The DoH’s Prescriptions via telehealth – a guide for prescribers and Prescriptions via telehealth – state and territory rules fact sheets will be updated shortly to reflect this update.
GPs with questions are encouraged to send them to
New allied health case conferencing items
To increase uptake of multidisciplinary case conferences and improve care coordination and patient outcomes, the DoH has introduced new MBS items to allow allied health practitioners to receive a payment for participating in multidisciplinary case conferences.
The case conference must be organised by the medical practitioner and involve at least two other persons providing different kinds of care to the patient. The new items are limited to two patient groups in non-admitted settings:
  • People with chronic disease as part of Team Care Arrangements under the care of a GP
  • Children aged under 13 years, to provide early diagnosis and treatment of autism or any other pervasive development disorder under the care of a paediatrician or psychiatrist
Eligible allied health practitioners may claim reimbursement through three time-tiered items: 15–20 minutes, 20–40 minutes and over 40 minutes.
More information is available on MBS Online.
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