Publication date: Jan 22, 2024
In 2022, the Australian Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care commissioned the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Advisory Committee (MRAC) to conduct a post-implementation review of MBS telehealth services, including settings of video and telephone consultations. The MRAC has made a series of administrative recommendations for telehealth practice that appear at cross-purposes to the evidence-base on medical consultations and that would limit patient access to medical specialist assessment in Australia. These recommendations particularly underestimate the role of telehealth in rural and remote Australia and did not take into account high patient satisfaction with telehealth assessment and treatment during the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. They also appear to contradict the Medical Board of Australia’s guidance on telehealth. On this basis, the recommendations for telehealth principles and abolition of reimbursement for telehealth for all initial non-general practitioner medical specialist consultations should be withdrawn.
|coronavirus disease 2019