Joint ANZSPM PCA advocacy for extension of MBS telehealth items for palliative care
Joint ANZSPM PCA advocacy for extension of MBS telehealth items for palliative careTuesday, May 31, 2022
Palliative Care Australia (PCA) and The Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine (ANZSPM) have jointly advocated for the permanent establishment of several MBS telehealth item numbers due to expire on 30 June 2022. The joint submission to the MBS Review Taskforce advocates for permanent telehealth items 91832, 91834, 91835, 92431, 92432, 92144. The permanent videoconferencing item numbers are not an adequate substitute for the expiring telephone consultation item numbers. Many rural and remote patients have limited internet access and rely on their landlines for communication. Older patients also often lack the necessary technology access and familiarity with videoconferencing. Non-English-speaking patients may also find videoconferencing less accessible. The benefits of telephone consultations are reflected in the demand from patients for these appointments. Given the current integration of telephone consultations in the provision of palliative care, removing these item numbers will only serve to increase the barriers to healthcare access already experienced by many patients and vulnerable groups.