In Practice: New telehealth exemption

Matt Woodley

2/06/2022 3:00:17 PM

Any patients impacted by natural disasters can now access telehealth rebates under Medicare, regardless of their last in-person consultation.

Doctor on laptop
There will be ongoing exemptions from the telehealth 12-month rule for those affected by natural disasters.

This week’s round up also includes a final chance to support CrazySocks4Docs day, information on RACGP Awards, support for veterans’ health, and an invitation to provide feedback on the NACCHO-RACGP National Guide.
Telehealth exemption for people affected by natural disasters
Since 22 February 2022, patients in flood-affected areas have been exempt from the requirement to have received a face-to-face service in the last 12 months to access telehealth rebates under Medicare.
The Department of Health has now advised that the exemption has been permanently expanded to include areas affected by natural disasters more broadly. Determination of eligibility will rest with declarations from states and territories of an affected local government area (LGA).
Confirming and documenting that this declaration applies to the region the patient is in at the time of the service/s is a suggested requirement for a valid claim of the exemption.
The AskMBS Advisory on the existing relationship requirement and exemptions from it will be updated to include this development.
CrazySocks4Docs day
Date: 3 June
CrazySocks4Docs day is an opportunity to connect with your colleagues and have a conversation about health and wellbeing.
GPs have been on the frontline during the pandemic and the vaccine rollout, so looking after your mental health should be a top priority.
In support of the day, the college is selling ‘crazy socks’ out of the RACGP Shop with all proceeds going towards Beyond Blue. Slip on a pair and post a photo to social media with the tag #CrazySocks4Docs.
Together we can raise awareness of the mental health issues of doctors and health practitioners around the world.
You have until 12 June to purchase a pair of socks and help us make a donation to Beyond Blue.
Visit the RACGP Shop and choose from five different pairs on offer.
The 2022 RACGP Awards are now open  
Do you know an extraordinary GP, GP in training, GP supervisor, or general practice going above and beyond?  
RACGP Awards honour the profound work and outstanding contributions of the doctors and staff at GP practices in our community and proudly celebrate their achievements.  
GPs may receive all kinds of acknowledgment from their patients, but it is important to formally celebrate this work and dedication to holistic patient care. This is your chance to recognise that individual impact by nominating them for an RACGP Award.
For more information or to nominate, please visit the RACGP Awards website.  
Supporting health providers, veterans and their families
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) has a diverse range of clinical health advisers including doctors, occupational therapists, psychologists and exercise physiologists to help meet the varied and complex needs of veterans.
More information is available on the DVA website.
NACCHO-RACGP National Guide user review
NACCHO and the RACGP are asking for feedback on the National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to support development of the fourth edition, which is due for publication in the second half of 2023.

This anonymous and confidential survey should take approximately seven minutes to complete.
None of the questions are mandatory, however we appreciate any feedback you may have.
NACCHO and the RACGP aim to provide resources that meet your needs in supporting health promoting and disease preventing activities that are valued by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
To complete this quick survey, please visit the RACGP website.
Academic Posts Program
Applications for the 2023 Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) Academic Post program are open from now until 1 August. 
The Academic Post Program is an Australian General Practice Training Program term for GPs in training to develop their academic skills through individualised learning plans, with support from training providers, universities and the RACGP.
The program runs for a 12-month term and gives GPs in Training the chance to build skills in research, teaching and critical thinking, typically completed alongside clinical training requirements.
GPs in training are also encouraged to apply for the AJGP or AIDA specialised academic posts, if eligible.  
Get in touch at or find out more by visiting the Academic Post Program website.
Certificate of Primary Care Dermatology
Are your dermatology skills only skin deep? 

The Certificate of Primary Care Dermatology has been developed to help GPs and GPs in training increase their expertise and confidence when presented with dermatological cases in their practice. 
Participants will learn to better understand and treat a broader range of common skin conditions, including skin cancer, as well as recognise the conditions that requite urgent referral. 
The two-day dermatological surgery workshop has now been approved for a total of 80 CPD Accredited Activity points (40 CPD Accredited Activity points each day). Attendance is required on both days to receive a total of 80 CPD Accredited Activity points.
We are excited to announce that we have partnered with Macquarie Medical Systems to provide the following special offers:

  • Full certificate course participants will receive complimentary course references  
  • Save 20% off the RRP on the course references 
  • Discounts on specific DermLite dermatascopes (save up to $334 RRP)
  • A 5% discount off all products purchased through their online store
More information, workshop dates, special savings and registration is available on the RACGP website.
Government extends SMS electronic prescription funding
The Department of Health recently announced that it will continue to reimburse the cost of electronic prescriptions generated via SMS until at least 30 September. The current subsidy was due to expire on 30 June.
To find out more about electronic prescribing, visit the RACGP website
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