Bulk bill consent - Getting started & how it works Follow

With news of Medicare's temporary allowance for practices to collect verbal consent from a patient when bulk billing a Telehealth appointment coming to an end, we've launched a way to collect written consent from patients digitally. 

Verbal consent should only be used for telehealth consultations where the patient’s written or emailed agreement to assign their Medicare benefit cannot be obtained.

This article covers: 

How it works

All you need to do is activate Bulk bill consent in your practice Admin portal and configure your PMS location and appointment type preferences.

Once this is done, you go through your usual process of starting and completing the appointment in your PMS, and when you invoice the relevant MBS item numbers directly to Medicare, we'll automatically trigger an SMS to be sent to the patient.

This SMS contains a URL for the patient to click, verify their identity and view the consent form for them to approve and submit back to your practice. 

 

Getting started 

Here is a step-by-step guide to activate Bulk bill consent and start collecting written consent from patients

  1. Log into your Practice Admin portal here
  2. Go to Bulk bill consent located under the 'Products' section in the left-hand side menu of your Practice Admin portal
  3. Click 'activate' and follow the prompts to get setup
  4. To complete your setup, please ensure that the preferences have been set:
    (a) your PMS Location is set in the Locations Settings page under 'Account', and,
    (b) you have enabled all relevant PMS appointment types






    If you don't see the 'Configure locations' option after you've activated Bulk bill consent, that means your PMS Location/s are already enabled and ready to go. 

  5. Once you've got your PMS Location/s and relevant PMS appointment types enabled for Bulk bill consent, your Overview page will now look like the below screenshot; you can edit the appointment types you've enabled for this product at any time through the 'Preferences' section of your Bulk bill consent product in the left-hand side menu.



  6. From here, you have your Telehealth appointment with your patient

    We recommend that you inform the patient at the time of appointment that they will receive an SMS from Healthengine requesting them to click a link to verify their identity and approve the bulk billing of their appointment, otherwise, this may be treated as a privately billed appointment.  

  7. After you've provided the services in full, toward the end of the appointment of afterwards, you would invoice the appointment directly to Medicare, as per your usual bulk billing process.


    Best Practice

    Please note that the below actions need to be completed for the SMS request to be sent to the patient for their appointment: 

    1. Enable the relevant PMS appointment types for the Bulk bill consent product in Practice Admin

    2. Change the appointment status to patient arrived

    3. Start appointment visit

    4. Complete appointment visit

    5. Invoice the appointment directly to Medicare: selecting either 'Store' or 'Hold ' will trigger the SMS request to send to the patient. 








    Pracsoft/ Medical Director

    Please note that the below actions need to be completed for the SMS request to be sent to the patient for their appointment: 

     

    1.  Enable the relevant PMS appointment types for the Bulk bill consent product in Practice Admin

    2. Locate the relevant appointment in your Pracsoft appointment book
    3. Start recording as a same day visit for this patient in Pracsoft 
    4. Create an invoice for the recent appointment:

      1. Add the relevant MBS items

      2. Set the 'Invoice to' fields as Bulk Bill 

      3. Ensure “Remove from Waiting Room” is ticked in Visit options

      4. Once you're done, select 'Voucher'

    5. Complete appointment visit

      Considerations: 
      > SMS request won’t send if invoice is marked as “HOLD”
      > If there are multiple visits in a day, ensure that the “Consult time” is close to the appointment time.

  8. Once the invoice is generated for Medicare Direct Bill, Healthengine sends an SMS to the patient with URL to consent form for them verify their identity, approve assigning the Medicare benefits to the practice & submit the form.



  9. The approved submitted consent form is attached as a PDF to the patient record in your PMS for your reference;
    > For Best Practice, the PDF is stored under Correspondence In section of the patient record
    > For Pracsoft, the PDF is stored under the Correspondence tab of the patient file in MedicalDirector Clinical (the same place we store your submitted New Patient Forms).


All SMS requests sent to patients can be viewed on Bulk bill consent's Overview page in your Practice Admin portal.



This dashboard allows you to view all sent SMS requests, whether the form has been Accepted or Not Accepted; 'Not Accepted' indicates that the SMS request has been sent but the patient has not yet accepted the assignment of benefits. 

You can see the send status for these outstanding 'Not Accepted' forms by hovering over the 'Send' and 'Re-Send' buttons; no 'Send' or 'Re-Send' option will display next to the Accepted SMS requests as the patient has already accepted the assignment of their benefit for that appointment and we have attached a PDF of their consent to the patient file in your PMS;

> For Best Practice, the PDF is stored under Correspondence In section of the patient record
> For Pracsoft, the PDF is stored under the Correspondence tab of the patient file in MedicalDirector Clinical (the same place we store your submitted New Patient Forms).

 

Hovering over the 'Re-send' button will give you the timestamp of the last SMS send. 

 

If the 'Re-send' button is greyed out, you'll see the below message when you hover over the button as we limit the re-sending of SMS to 1 send per day. 

The patient journey

We show this under the "What does the patient journey look like for this product?" question in our Bulk bill consent - FAQs article. 

This article contains a patient walkthrough and supporting screenshots of their interactive journey, along with FAQs from practices. 

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