Over the last few weeks Dr Maria Boulton has asked a number of questions at the PCIG and directly to the task force. Some of these have now been answered.
A question and response are below:
Who can provide vaccination services under MBS?
Activities associated with the claiming of the COVID-19 MBS vaccine suitability assessment items may also be undertaken by a suitably qualified health professional who is working within their scope of practice.
Where a vaccination-related service is to be provided on behalf of a medical practitioner by a suitably qualified health professional, the medical practitioner must first consider whether the service is in accordance with accepted medical practice. This includes assessing if the suitably qualified health professional has the appropriate skills and training to administer the vaccine.
Important Note: Medical practitioners are prohibited from acting in the role of “suitably qualified health professional” on behalf of another medical practitioner. Under sub-section 3(17)(a) of the Health Insurance Act 1973, a service is taken to be rendered on behalf of a medical practitioner if, and only if, it is rendered by another person who is not a medical practitioner, and who provides the service, in accordance with accepted medical practice, under the supervision of the medical practitioner.
A suitably qualified health professional may assist a GP or Other Medical Practitioner (OMP) to provide a COVID-19 vaccine to a patient provided all of the following conditions are met:
- the health professional is in a professional category regulated under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law and listed on the website to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.
- the provision of vaccinations is within the health professional’s scope of practice.
- the health professional is qualified and trained to provide vaccinations safely, and has completed all mandatory Australian Government training associated with the delivery of COVID-19 vaccination services.
- the health professional meets all relevant state or territory government rules and standards governing immunisation services.
- the supervising GP or OMP, under whose care the vaccination is provided, is satisfied that the health professional meets all rules and standards set by the Australian Government and the state or territory government within whose jurisdiction the vaccination service is provided.
- the supervising GP or OMP is physically present at the location at which the vaccine suitability assessment service is undertaken and accepts full responsibility for the service. Note: services rendered under the vaccine suitability assessment services only attract a Medicare rebate where the service is billed in the name of the supervising GP or OMP.