Teleconsultation item number created

Posted on 16th April 2020

In response to Level 3 restrictions being imposed, ADA has created a teleconsultation item number (919) that can be used when consulting a patient for an acute problem over the phone or by videoconference. We believe this item number will be particularly useful if a patient is in self-isolation as a result of testing positive to the Coronavirus, has been exposed to someone with the virus, or is unable to leave their home due to other health problems.

Before issuing the number we worked with Private Healthcare Australia (PHA), the representative body for health insurers, to get all funds to pay rebates but unfortunately, we could not reach an agreement across the board.

The good news is that a number of funds are planning to pay rebates against the item number and we look forward to those funds announcing their support over the next week or so. Already, HIF has advised its policyholders and once the full list of participating insurers becomes available we’ll get it to you.

In the meantime, to help you use the new item number appropriately we’ve developed a Guideline for Teledentistry that provides important information about using telehealth options and examples of the type of problems you may be able to consult on with patients.

In addition to lobbying health funds, we have also requested that the Department of Health and Department of Veterans’ Affairs include this new item number in the Child Dental Benefits Schedule, the Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Scheme and the DVA Schedule of Dental Services. Once the government response is received we will relay this information to you. We hope that this new item number will allow you to provide support to those patients who are faced with acute concerns during this time of restriction.

Remember to also visit the full range of resources through our dedicated COVID-19 site.