DVA Provider News article - March 2020.

COVID-19 information for healthcare providers

COVID-19 arrangements for our clients during the pandemic, including vaccinations.

Since the World Health Organization announced COVID-19 as a pandemic in 2020, DVA has engaged in a whole-of-government response to this global health issue. This response continues to evolve and we have prioritised resources to make sure we can continue to meet the essential care needs of all our clients, including vulnerable and at-risk clients.

The Government has made permanent telehealth arrangements effective from 1 January 2022. Go to the Permanent Telehealth information for health care providers for more information.

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End of additional temporary telehealth arrangements from 30 June 2022

In response to the high number of COVID-19 cases nationally, on 16 January 2022, the former Government announced the re‑introduction of a number of temporary telehealth items to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) until 30 June 2022. These arrangements have finished and permanent telehealth arrangements are now in place. Go to the permanent telehealth arrangements for more information.

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COVID antivirals available by telehealth phone consultation

Since 19 July 2022, the MBS includes two additional general practitioner telehealth items, 93716 and 93717. They are for a longer consultation by phone to ensure antivirals are safely prescribed by doctors and that as many people as possible can access these treatments in a timely way.

DVA clients are now eligible to access antivirals through the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS). Recipients need to start taking the medication within five days of symptoms starting.

DVA clients with a COVID-19 positive diagnosis can have a phone or video consultation with a doctor to get a prescription for antivirals. These items will be available until 31 October 2022.

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Support services and resources for your veteran patients

Mental health support

Shopping services for eligible veterans

  • DVA clients may access shopping support provided by Veterans’ Home Care (VHC). They can call the VHC Assessment Agency directly on 1300 550 450. A doctor’s referral is not required to access these services.

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COVID-19 vaccinations for DVA clients

The national COVID-19 vaccination program is now underway for all Australians, including DVA clients. Providers can keep across current status or changes to arrangements via the Department of Health website.

There are some key things GPs need to know about administering the vaccine to DVA clients.

Information for GPs administering the COVID-19 vaccine to DVA clients

  • Arrangements for administering the COVID-19 vaccine to DVA clients are the same as the arrangements for the general public.
  • You use the same Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS) item numbers used for the general public for DVA clients.
  • DVA clients can use their Veteran Card as per usual DVA arrangements.
  • As with all medical services provided to DVA white card holders, GPs will only be able to bill the MBS COVID-19 vaccine item to DVA if it relates to an accepted condition. When processing claims, Services Australia will accept the clinical judgment of the GP to determine what accepted condition would require the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • White card holders who do not have an accepted condition receiving the vaccination can be billed through Medicare arrangements.

Immunisation record

  • COVID-19 vaccinations are recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register. To access their immunisation history statement DVA clients will need either a Medicare number or an Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI)
  • If the DVA client doesn’t have a Medicare Card or an IHI, this is an opportune time to encourage them to either enrol in Medicare or to apply for an IHI. DVA clients will have an IHI if they receive a DVA pension or benefit
  • DVA has information on COVID-19 vaccinations for DVA clients
  • Providers are encouraged to keep across current status or changes to arrangements via the Department of Health website.

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Further information

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