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.
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.
The Digital Wallet is an available channel for patients to provide proof of eligibility to pharmacies.
Pharmacies must sight the patient’s Medicare and concessional card (where applicable) before dispensing the medicine on the PBS. If patients do not have a physical Medicare or Concessional card, they can present their cards through the digital wallet on the Express Plus Medicare mobile app and the Centrelink Express mobile app (where applicable). Alternatively, patients can obtain an interim voucher from a Service Centre as proof of their Medicare card and concession card (where applicable).
Alternatively, patients can obtain an interim voucher from a Service Centre as proof of their Medicare card and concession card (where applicable).
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.