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What's new?

September 2012

The final Licensed Material for the September 2012 release for the Healthcare Identifiers Service is now available.

March 2012

You can now email askmbs@humanservices.gov.au to have your MBS item questions answered by a specialist MBS team.

Quick reference guides about the Better Start for Children with Disability Initiative are now available for health professionals online.

For health professionals

GPs, specialists and allied health professionals - the December update of Forum is available now.

Register for Forum to get the latest Medicare news and updates straight to your email. When you register, don’t forget to unsubscribe to the printed copy to help us save paper.

Pharmacists - the December update of Bulletin Board is available now.

Register for Bulletin Board to get the latest Medicare and PBS updates straight to your email.

Don’t hold on to your Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement incentive payment claims until mid month

Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement (5CPA) incentive payment claims and paperwork should be sent throughout the month to help avoid unnecessary delays during peak times. This will help make sure all payments are processed in the agreed timeframe.

Changes to Telehealth program

From 1 January 2013 the geographic eligibility criteria for telehealth Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items will change.

To find out if this affects you, go to MBS OnlineExternal link.

For more information email telehealth@humanservices.gov.auEmail

Important announcement - changes to dental services under Medicare

The government has announced the closure of the Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme from 1 December 2012 and the Medicare Teen Dental Plan on 31 December 2013 and the introduction of the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) from 1 January 2014.

The Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme closed on 1 December 2012. No Medicare benefits will be paid for dental services provided under Medicare dental items 85011-87777 from this date. The cost of any future dental services will need to be met by the patient.

Patients without a GP care plan in place before 8 September 2012 will not be able to access the Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme which closed on 1 December 2012.

The Medicare Teen Dental Plan will close on 31 December 2013. Eligible teens will be able to access the program until this date. Benefits will continue to be paid for services provided to eligible teenagers before the date of closure.

The CDBS will replace the Medicare Teen Dental Plan from 1 January. This $2.7 billion measure will provide a Commonwealth funded capped benefits entitlement for basic dental services for children. Around 3.4 million children aged 2-17 in families who meet a means test will be eligible for benefits each year. The means test will be the same as the existing Medicare Teen Dental Plan , which requires receipt of Family Tax Benefit Part A or other certain government payments.

Services for basic essential dental treatment, such as check-ups, x-rays, fillings and extractions will be included in the CDBS, the total benefit entitlements will be capped at $1,000 per child over a two year period.

More information is available on the Department of Health and AgeingExternal link website.

Ordering PBS stationery

The Camerons Group is the contracted supplier of PBS stationery.

If you order stationery through us, continue to do so using the same contact details.

If you're an approved community pharmacy, private hospital pharmacy or participating public hospital and order directly through the stationery supplier, you can order or make enquiries through The Camerons Group. Their contact details are on the PBS page.

If you’re a stoma association or paraquad association, you can fax your order to The Camerons Group.

For more information about ordering PBS stationery go to the PBS page.

Pharmacists - Annotating prescriptions to clarify a prescriber’s intention

When something isn’t clear on a PBS prescription, and getting a new prescription will delay the customer’s treatment, you can call the prescriber to clarify their intentions. You may then annotate the prescription in line with the prescriber’s intentions.

Find out more

Federal Budget 2012–13

Treasurer, The Hon. Wayne Swan MP handed down the Federal Budget for 2012–13 on Tuesday 8 May 2012.

There are a number of measures that will affect health professionals who access the payments and services of the Department of Human Services through Medicare.

Information on the 2012-13 Federal BudgetExternal link is published on the Human Services' website.

Check System Status

The system status pages that are accessible via the links below will assist you to identify whether the relevant systems are currently available at Medicare Australia. Each of the status pages contain a Service Announcements section for important messages and a section on how to interpret the details of the status page.

Provider percentile charts

Provider percentile charts show the number of services billed by peer groups for selected MBS items. You can use these charts to compare your billing data with your peers.

Last updated: 3 January, 2013