14 May 2021
The Australian Government made amendments to legislation in 2020 that changes how GPs access Medicare. GPs no longer access higher Medicare rebates by registering their Fellowship status with Services Australia. Your Medicare access will now be linked to your registration status with Ahpra and the Medical Board.
All Fellows who do not hold specialist registration with Ahpra at 16 June 2021 will lose access to Medicare benefits. To avoid this, you must apply to Ahpra to update your registration by 21 May 2021 to ensure your application is processed by Ahpra and Services Australia.
From 16 June 2021, being a Fellow and holding general registration with Ahpra is not enough to maintain your Medicare access. Access to the general practice items in the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) will be based on your specialist registration status with the Ahpra.
If you are not sure if you have previously registered as a specialist it is easy to check.
- Go to the Ahpra website by clicking here.
- Type in your name or registration number and click ‘Search’
- Scroll until you find your details and click ‘View Details’
- Scroll down the page to ‘Registration Type’
- If you are a registered as a specialist you will see Type: Specialist registration and Specialty: General Practice
The process to register as a specialist with Ahpra has been streamlined to support affected GPs. Ahpra has emailed GPs who need to register as a specialist and Services Australia are following up phone calls. DO NOT IGNORE these contacts. Timely action is required to ensure GPs do not have their access to MBS items disrupted.
All you have to do to register is complete the application form. The RACGP will provide evidence of fellowship directly to Ahpra.
It is important to note access to Medicare rebates cannot be backdated. If you apply for specialist registration before 21 May 2021 you will not lose access.
If you submit your application after 21 May 2021 and are not registered as a specialist on the 16 June 2021, your patients will not be able to claim a Medicare rebate.
If you have any questions, you can contact Ahpra between 9:00am – 5:00pm weekdays on 1300 419 495 or submit a web enquiry form.
Web enquiry forms with the category “Register of Practitioners – Specialist” will be given priority by Ahpra.
Published: 14 May 2021