Other services via HPOS (CTG, Find a Patient)

What changes are being implemented by Services Australia to the ‘Improved Monitoring of Entitlement (IME) enquiry line’?

From 6 June 2021, pharmacies will gain access to ‘Find a Patient’ service on Health Professional Online Services (HPOS). This change will allow approved pharmacies to confirm a patient’s Medicare and Department of Veterans Affair (DVA) card details and check their eligibility for Centrelink concessional entitlement through a secure 24/7 online service.

Pharmacies will have 6 months to transition to this online service.

When will my pharmacy have to use this service instead of phoning the helpline?

From 1 January 2022, approved pharmacies must use ‘HPOS – Find a Patient’, as an alternative to the IME enquiry line. (see the Guild’s PRODA Action Plan for assistance)

From this date, the IME enquiry line will only be available for exceptional circumstances, including the following:

  • Hospital Accident and Emergency – for patients unable to provide Medicare details
  • A known outage within the HPOS system preventing pharmacies verifying customer details, including internet outages for pharmacies
  • DVA concession details
  • Safety net concession/entitlement card details.

Will the IME enquiry line be functional after January 2022?

Yes. From 1 January 2022, the IME enquiry line will only be available for the following:

  • Hospital Accident and Emergency – for patients unable to provide Medicare details
  • A known outage within the HPOS system preventing pharmacies verifying customer details, including internet outages for pharmacies
  • DVA concession details
  • Safety net concession details.

Can my pharmacy access this new service without having a PRODA account?

No. You pharmacy must its PRODA account setup to access this service (. (see the Guild’s PRODA Action Plan for assistance) and Setting up and managing PRODA FAQ.

What patient information will be available to approved pharmacies from 6 June 2021?

Once logged in to HPOS - Find a Patient, approved pharmacies will be able to confirm Medicare card details and whether patients are eligible for Centrelink concessional entitlement. Please note concessional card numbers will not be available on ‘HPOS – Find a Patient’ service.

Pharmacies should check the patient’s Medicare card and Centrelink concessional card (where applicable) in the first instance. Note: Patients can present their Medicare and concession card through their digital wallet on the Centrelink express plus app.

Pharmacies must also heed all PBS Online rejection and warning messages.

What is the ‘digital wallet’ and the Centrelink Express plus app?

What changes are being made to the CTG PBS Co-payment program?

On July 1 2021 a new centralised patient registration database for the program, managed by Services Australia, will go live via Health Professional Online Services (HPOS).

The database will:

  • Allow for any PBS prescriber or AHPRA registered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner registered with Medicare to register eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for the program.
  • Allow for any eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to be registered for the program no matter where they live, and regardless of their chronic disease status and even if they move to a different health clinic.
  • No longer legally require PBS prescribers to write or electronically print ‘CTG’ on eligible PBS prescriptions for registered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. However, annotation of a PBS script will help community and Section 94 Approved Private Hospital pharmacists, when dispensing the medicines, know that the patient is registered for the program.
  • Allow for any PBS prescriber to issue PBS General Schedule medicine prescriptions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that are registered for the program.
  • Allow for PBS prescriptions issued by PBS prescribers within public hospitals to be eligible to be dispensed by any community pharmacy or Section 94 Approved Private Hospital pharmacy.
  • Allow for real time verification of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person’s status in the program and if the “Closing The Gap’ field in the pharmacy’s dispensing system has been completed, this will also trigger the correct pricing.

Note: If that field has not been completed, a claim will be rejected and will need to be resubmitted.

What is not changing in the program?

  • The program will continue to be for self-identified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (people of any age) only, and no other patient groups.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that are already registered for the program will continue to be registered. Current registration details will be transferred to the new database.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will still need to be assessed by their practitioner as being eligible for program registration.
  • Section 94 Approved Private Hospital pharmacies can still dispense PBS prescriptions covered under the program.
  • Section 94 Public Hospital pharmacies will still not be able to dispense PBS prescriptions
  • covered under the program.
  • The program will continue to apply to prescriptions for PBS General Schedule medicines only.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will still need to be registered for the program
  • before a reduced co-payment will be applied to PBS General Schedule prescriptions when
  • being dispensed.

Where can I find more information on the CTG PBS Co-payment program?

More information on the CTG PBS Co-payment program can be found HERE.

How can I check a patent’s Medicare Number?

  1. Go to: HPOS - Find a Patient - Services Australia and
  2. Search using the patient’s personal details – patient name and date of birth.
  3. Then change the “use” drop down option to “patient name and date of birth”.

What can a patient do if they do not have a Medicare card or Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI)? 

Patient's without a a Medicare card or Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI) can access support via Services Australia.

Page last updated on: 12 August 2021