Change to how General Practitioners claim for the Veterans Access Payment (VAP)

From 1 January 2022, the Rural Bulk Billing Incentive, under the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) will be progressively increased for general practitioners (GPs) working in remote areas and rural towns, based on their classification under the Modified Monash Model (MMM). This change will also apply to the Veterans’ and MRCA Access Payments (VAP) for services provided to DVA clients.

Due to system limitations, the MBS VAP incentive items are unable to be claimed in conjunction with telehealth services provided to DVA clients. 

Currently, GPs providing telehealth services to DVA clients can claim the VAP using the DVA-only item numbers MT88 or MT89. From 1 January 2022, DVA will introduce additional items to reflect the new rural VAP face-to-face items.

DVA’s new items and their MBS equivalent are detailed in the following table:

VAP face-to-face item VAP DVA Telehealth Item MMM region DVA Fee as at 1 January 2022
10990 MT89 1 $7.65
10991 MT88 2 $11.60
10992 MT87 2-7 (afterhours) $11.60
75855 MT86 3 or 4 $12.30
75856 MT85 5 $13.10
75857 MT84 6 $13.85
75858 MT83 7 $14.65

All that is required from GPs in response to this change is to claim using the new DVA item in conjunction with any telehealth services provided to their DVA patients from 1 January 2022, instead of the MBS item. 

If a practice utilises third party software which allows them to automatically claim the VAP incentive with eligible items, they should contact their software vendor to determine the best way to claim under these arrangements.