6 Tips for which patients to Register with MyMedicare
As the healthcare landscape evolves, practice managers must stay ahead and ensure their patients benefit from the latest changes. One such development is MyMedicare, which offers extended telehealth sessions for eligible patients. But how do you identify which patients should register with MyMedicare? In this blog post, we’ll share valuable tips to help you make informed decisions for which patients to contact for registration.
Since the announcement of MyMedicare in the Federal Budget, new information has yet to come out regarding how exactly patients will register with MyMedicare. Irrespective of how patients will register, there is good reason to engage with patients now in the lead-up to October 2023, when registration begins.
What patients can we register with MyMedicare?
Firstly, before registering patients with MyMedicare, you must ensure your practice is registered with MyMedicare. Practice eligibility requires your practice to be accredited or working towards accreditation. You can register your practice via PRODA, HPOS and Organisational Register as of 1st of July 2023.
1. Analyse patients for Level C or D Telephone and Telehealth Consults
Telehealth & telephone has become increasingly popular, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. MyMedicare offers two changes related to telephone and telehealth consults;
- Introduction of Level C & D for extended telephone sessions for registered patients, allowing for more in-depth conversations about their health.
- Triple bulk-billing incentive on Levels C, D & E for telehealth consults eligible patients (15 and under, pensioners and concession card holders) for patients registered with your practice for MyMedicare.
First off, and potentially those patients most affected initially by patient registration with MyMedicare, are patients who currently receive longer telehealth and telephone consults with your practice. Review patients billed a Level B telephone consult in the last two years. These patients will likely benefit from MyMedicare’s extended telephone services, as they have already experienced the value of remote consultations. If you wanted a more detailed list, you could limit your search to those patients who have had a Level B telephone consult, that was longer than 20 minutes. This historical data provides a decent starting point for patients who would in future require level C & D telephone consults.
Looking at telehealth consults for Levels C & D you can look back historically for patients who have previously been billed these services. Look at patient eligibility for the triple bulk-billing incentive, such as pensioners, concession-card holders and 15 and under patients. For the new Level E MBS item, we recommend analysing which patients have had telehealth consults that goes over 60+ minutes. Before you put effort into creating these lists of potential patients to register for telehealth rebates, look at what your tripled incentive and MBS rebate is compared to what you normally would bill a private fee. If the private fee is still higher, and you aren’t going to begin bulk-billing telehealth consults, then it may not make sense in prioritising registering these patients.
2. Review patients billed a Chronic Disease Management (CDM) item number
GP Management Plans (GPMP)s and Chronic Disease Management (CDM) are vital for patients with chronic conditions. These plans promote continuous care and provide appropriate incentives for healthcare providers. Identify patients who have been billed a CDM item number in the past, as they will likely benefit from the enhanced support and coordination offered by MyMedicare.
How MyMedicare may change CDM items for patients and practices is unclear. Although a change is occurring in November 2024, and it’ll be important to register a patient who you wish to provide CDM care to.
Look at your practice management software or Cubiko for lists of patients who have historically been billed a 721, 723, 732 or 731 at your practice. You can further refine this list by looking at patients who have been billed in the last two years, or only looking at patients who are RACGP active patients in your practice. You can engage this patient cohort with educational materials around chronic disease management and MyMedicare and how it may benefit them.
3. Identify patients potentially eligible for CDM
Not all patients with chronic conditions may have been previously billed a CDM item number. Take proactive steps to identify patients who could benefit from a GPMP and CDM. There could be patients in your patient database who are active, and potentially eligible for GPMP but possibly have not yet been billed one yet.
There are a number of ways in which you can identify patients who may be eligible for a GPMP:
- Look at your billing history to see how many Phase 1B COVID vaccines you provided to patients. These same patients may be eligible for a CDM care plan.
- Produce lists of patients where clinical indicators suggest patients could be eligible for a CDM care plan.
These lists of patients who have yet to be billed a CDM item at your practice, but may be eligible, will be important to engage with. If there are changes to how CDM can apply to patients whether registered with your practice or not, effective patient engagement for CDM will be crucial. Cubiko provides lists of patients potentially eligible for CDM, and one workflow practices often do is export these lists once filtered to then bulk-sms out to relevant patients. This leads to proactive healthcare and better patient outcomes as well as an increase in billings.
4. Focus on RACF patients
Consider your patients residing in Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF). Generally the patient-practitioner relationship is quite strong between RACF patients and their GP. The likelihood therefore of these patients to not be registered with the appropriate GP is hopefully quite low. Even so, you will want to look at this patient segment and look to register and engage with them when possible. RACF patients often require specialised care, and MyMedicare can help streamline the delivery of healthcare services. Additionally, RACGP active patients, who have had three or more visits to your practice in the last 24 months, are prime candidates for MyMedicare registration, as they already have an established relationship with your practice.
The Aged Care Incentive is slated for implementation on 1st August 2024, which will alter the funding model for RACF patients. Importantly, access to this incentive is exclusively available through MyMedicare registration.
5. Your most regular and valuable patients
So far each of our top tips for analysing which patients to register has been focused around specific benefits of MyMedicare. That being potential changes to CDM, Telehealth & telephone consult changes and the introduction of the Aged Care Incentive for RACF patients. Our next two tips is centered around a wide net of patients who are regular patients at your practice and it may make sense for them to be registered with your practice.
Create a list of your most regular and valuable patients. Regular would be classified by how often they come into your practice; you can look at the number of appointments in the past 12 months or two years. Next you can look at your most valuable patients in a commercial sense, as to billings for that patient over a period of time. These lists of patients most likely have a strong patient-practitioner relationship and it could make a lot of sense to register them with MyMedicare. Cubiko make this easier for you by providing lists of these patients in our Average Billings per Patient metric.
6. Finally, look at all of your RACGP active patients
Additionally, RACGP active patients, who have had three or more visits to your practice in the last 24 months, are prime candidates for MyMedicare registration. This patient cohort already have an established relationship with your practice. You could create a list of all patients with two or more appointments in the last 24 months and then look to engage with these patients with educational material about MyMedicare closer to the rollout of patient registration in October 2023. This would be the largest list of patients for our top tips!
Cubiko provides metrics which show you all RACGP active patients and additional ways to understand your different patient demographics and cohorts. All of these lists include the Internal_ID of the patient from your practice management software. Practices often then export these lists and bulk import into that online appointment vendor for patient engagement via SMS. This is an efficient way to engage with patients en masse.
Preparing for MyMedicare
To prepare for the implementation of MyMedicare, there are a few important steps you need to take.
Starting from 1 July 2023, you can register your practice in the Organisation Register through the Services Australia HPOS service. It is also important to ensure all your practitioners are linked to your organisation. This registration process ensures that your practice is ready to connect with MyMedicare and take full advantage of its benefits.
From 1 October 2023, patients holding a Medicare card or a Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Veteran Card can register with MyMedicare. Encourage your regular patients to register, highlighting the advantages of extended telehealth sessions and improved care coordination. Patients can also register online, although it isn’t apparent how registration will happen or through which government platform.
Stay informed about the upcoming specifics and incentives related to MyMedicare, as these developments could impact your practice’s operation and financial planning. Introducing these new incentives aims to enhance health outcomes for patients with complex chronic diseases and residential aged care residents, reducing hospital visits and improving their quality of life. It is still unclear what the administrative burden will be on practices for engaging with MyMedicare. The administrative tasks required must be weighed up with the potential additional funding streams from MyMedicare.
Bringing it all together
Look at your RACF patients, your RACGP active patients, and those billed a telephone consult, a level D telehealth consult, or a CDM item number. This will give you an excellent starting point for identifying patients who may be most beneficial to register with MyMedicare. Remember, the more strategic you are in your patient registration, the more streamlined your care delivery becomes, and the more effective your MyMedicare integration will be.
We are still determining MyMedicare’s impact on the Australian primary healthcare industry and your practice. Even so, the upcoming implementation of MyMedicare brings many opportunities to improve patient outcomes and potential new funding streams. Stay informed about the latest developments and be prepared for MyMedicare. Engaging with the patients we’ve highlighted above is the first step.