By Rhiannon Riches
If you’re a graduating optometrist and about to start work, you need to register now for an initial Medicare provider number.
More information on preparing for practice
You cannot bill, refer, prescribe or request services until you have your Medicare provider number. This number identifies you as a health professional at your practice location.
The Medicare provider registration peak period has commenced and is expected to continue until April 2018. Make sure you apply early as processing time for applications can take up to six weeks. Between December and April is the peak demand time.
When you register for an initial Medicare provider number, it’s important for you to provide your bank account and current contact details.
There’s no need to call about the progress of your application. Check the Health Professionals section of the Department of Human Services website for processing times.
When your application is processed, Medicare will confirm your provider number by letter.
To find out more and apply go to humanservices.gov.au/providernumber.
For health professionals who already have a Medicare provider number, it’s quick and easy to get additional provider numbers or update contact and bank account details through Health Professional Online Services (HPOS).
If you have applied for an additional provider number through HPOS, there’s no need to submit a manual form. To find out more go to humanservices.gov.au/hpos.