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Optometry Australia advises members that the Commonwealth Department of Human Services has been working to implement the recommendations made as part of the independent review of health providers’ access to Medicare cards.

The changes being implemented are intended to enhance the security of patient information.

The changes mean that from 1 July 2019, health professionals will no longer be able to request verification of a patient’s Medicare card details via phone, except in exceptional circumstances.

Optometrists will need to use Health Professional Online Services (HPOS) when verifying the patient’s Medicare details. HPOS can be accessed via the Provider Digital Access (PRODA) platform or by using an individual PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) – although this mode of access is being phased out, and all optometrists will be required to use PRODA to access HPOS from the end of 2020.

Optometry Australia strongly encourages all members if you do not currently have access to HPOS and PRODA to set this up now. You can register for PRODA, via the Department of Human Services website.

Optometry Australia has had a number of calls from members who are having difficulty with the PRODA registration process, particularly the uploading of proof of identity documents (you will need to provide identification to register for PRODA – the list of the type of documentation required is listed on PRODA.).

Please note that this security change does not impact MBS item eligibility checks. For example, optometrists will still be able to call 1300 652 752 ‘date of service’ automated helpline for 10910/911 checks and, you will still be able to call 132150 for other MBS item checks such as checking 10921 for contact lens service.

If you prefer, health practitioners can nominate someone else such as your practice manager to do tasks on your behalf in HPOS. Please visit DHS website for instructions on how to nominate a delegate. Nominated practice staff will need to set up their own PRODA login and they will be provided with their own unique registration authority (RA) number.

We encourage anyone having issues to contact the PRODA helpline on 1800 700 199, email proda@humanservices.gov.au, or the Medicare Provider Helpline on 132 150, or email medicare.prov@humanservices.gov.au.

We are also here to assist members with queries on the changes (03 9668 8500).

 

Filed in category: Medicare & private billing, Patient care & management, Workplace
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