Living with COVID-19 – Home Commissioned Visits
WNSW PHN has initiated a new program to facilitate home visits by GPs and practice nurses to patients who are managing COVID-19 at home. This includes home visits to Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF) patients and people who are isolating at home as a close contact.
The program is focused on reducing hospitalisations and allowing people to actively engage in their own health management plan at home, supported by a healthcare professional.
Your practice will be paid the following fee for each visit (however the practice is unable to claim an additional MBS Medicare rebate):
- $250 for the first patient
- $150 for each additional patient at the same location seen during the same visit
Please note, we have updated the fees to include consenting RACF residents to access Oral Antiviral Medication. It will be remunerated at $150.00 for the first resident, and $100.00 for each resident after. It MUST be completed in a face-to-face consultation and can only be for the resident's initial consent.
It is a flat fee for all visits. You will need to provide a report with details of the service provided to be eligible to claim the fee. Payment will be provided on submission of a monthly invoice, including a completed copy of the Living with COVID-19 Monthly Reporting Template.
Download the Living with COVID-19 Monthly Reporting Template
[The Template is an Excel document]
This is an ongoing program for all GPs and practice nurses in Western NSW. You do not need to apply to be included in the program.
Please contact email@example.com with any questions about the program.
Please send monthly invoices and completed Living with COVID-19 Monthly Reporting Template to firstname.lastname@example.org
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Living with COVID | Positive Case – Commissioned Home Visits?
The programme is focused on reducing hospitalisations and allowing people to actively engage in their own health management plan supported by a health care professional via an in-home visit arrangement.
WNSW PHN will provide brokerage to General Practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHO) who are actively managing COVID-19 positive cases to enable home visits to those who are managing COVID-19 at home. This includes home visits to Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF) residents and people who are isolating at home as a close contact.
What is the scope of the home visit – who can be supported by this program?
- COVID-19 positive patients who are isolating at home
- People living in the community who are isolating at home as a close contact
- COVID-19 positive patients who live in a Residential Aged Care Facility
- Consenting a RACF resident for Oral Antiviral Medication (N.B Must be performed by a GP face-to-face and can only be for initial consent)
The home visit may relate to a patient’s COVID-19 diagnosis, as well as assessment and management relating to other health conditions that require attention while a COVID-positive person is isolating (e.g. injury, wound care, chronic disease management).
Who should conduct the in-home visit?
General practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations that have a current structure, protocol, and clinical governance to facilitate home visits.
Are Practice Nurses able to conduct the home visits?
Practices can engage their practice nurses, nurse practitioners or GPs to provide home visits in this model.
Clinical staff providing direct care to patients must hold the appropriate registration with Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) – nursing staff minimum qualification is Registered Nurse Division 1. Clinical staff will have no restrictions or conditions on their AHPRA registration. If two health professionals attend the home visit, the practice can only make one claim.
What insurance do I need to have?
Staff must also hold appropriate Professional Indemnity Insurance, and will maintain all other relevant insurances e.g., public liability, worker’s compensation, motor vehicle etc., or be covered by their employer’s insurance.
How much do I receive for each home visit?
General Practices and ACCHOs will be paid a $250.00 / $150.00 fee for each visit however the practice is unable to bill an MBS item in addition to this. This fee includes an amount for reporting requirements to be met and is a flat fee for all visits.
What if there is more than one person requiring medical care at the residence?
For both RACF and private homes, each additional patient seen after the initial patient will be remunerated at $150.00 / $100.00. For example:
- General Practitioner or Practice Nurse visiting a RACF: First resident $250.00 all additional residents will be remunerated at $150.00 each.
- General Practitioner (ONLY) consents an RACF resident for Oral Antiviral Medication in a face-to-face consultation: First resident $150.00 all additional residents will be remunerated at $100.00 each
- General Practitioner or Practice Nurse visiting a private home: First patient $250.00, all additional people/children will be remunerated at $150.00 each.
Can the home visit be after hours?
Yes, however the same fee structure per visit will apply.
Can I claim for additional travel?
No, the fee for service includes travel.
How do I seek payment?
Payment will be provided on submission of a monthly invoice including a report provided by WNSW PHN. A WNSW PHN template for reporting and invoicing will be supplied to participating practices. This report and invoice should be emailed to email@example.com on the last working day of the month.
What are the reporting requirements for the program?
General Practices and ACCHOs will need to provide clear reporting of service contacts as per WNSW PHN monthly activity reporting template. This report will include but is not limited to:
- Date visit occurred
- Time taken
- Primary purpose of visit
Please note: WNSW PHN reserves the right to use the data provided through reports to conduct an audit, to ensure the program is being delivered as intended. This may require the practice to provide evidence that a home visit occurred, e.g., through presentation of clinical notes during an onsite audit.
Pathways and monitoring guidelines
COVID-19 Positive Pathway
The COVID-19 Positive Pathway provides direction on escalation and de-escalation of care based on consumers condition/s. To access these pathways please go to our Health Pathways here.
What guidelines can I use to monitor patients?
The RACGP website provides guidance you can access here.
What is an SLK and why do I have to provide this?
SLK means 'statistical linkage key'. The SLK is generated by inputting the patients name, date of birth and gender into an SLK generator. The SLK generated is not re-identifiable.
Using an SLK means the practice does not need to send sensitive patient data in order to claim a home visit. The SLK will allow WNSW PHN to understand how many unique patients have benefited from the program.
How do I generate an SLK?
SLKs are very easy to generate. Visit this link: Primary Mental Health Care - Minimum Data Set (pmhc-mds.net) and enter the patient’s full name, date of birth and gender. The webpage will then provide the SLK which can be copied to clipboard and pasted into the reporting document. The website does not save the patient's details.
Where to go for more information
Please contact Sarah O’Brien via email: firstname.lastname@example.org