COVID-19: Funded programs

Updated 24 October 2022


Telehealth sessions introduced on a temporary basis in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are now permanent. Refer to the Australian Government Department of Health Ongoing MBS telehealth services. This includes sessions delivered under the Chronic disease management program and the follow up items for people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent.

For more information, including details about telehealth item numbers, see SPA’s Information sheet on the Chronic Disease Management program on the the Association's website.

Department of Veterans' Affairs

As of 1 January 2022, DVA introduced permanent telehealth arrangements for general practitioner, medical specialist and allied health services (except dental, optical and neuropsychology), for eligible DVA clients. These arrangements reflect the whole-of-government approach to permanent telehealth services provided under the Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS). View the Department of Veterans' Affairs website.

Telehealth and aged care

There are no current restrictions on the use of telehealth (e.g. Home Care Packages) by the funding body, so speech pathologists need to consider the clinical efficacy in each client’s individual situation and discuss with your client and HCP provider to confirm arrangements.

Private Health Funds (PHFs)

As a result of the advocacy work, the Association is aware that most Private Health Funds (PHFs) have announced that customers who have extras cover for speech pathology will be able to make a claim for speech pathology services delivered via telehealth. Some PHFs have announced permanent telehealth items.

Telehealth codes typically used by PHFS are

  • 501 – Individual Initial /Referred assessment by teleconsultation
  • 502 – Individual subsequent treatment by teleconsultation.

The Association recommends that members providing services that attract a PHF rebate are familiar with individual PHF provider rules around billing as there are variations amongst PHFs as well as different item codes and varying dates around when rebates will be provided for telehealth services.