Living with COVID-19 - Home Commissioned Visits

South Western Sydney 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 a $250 / $150 fee for each visit however the practice is unable to claim an additional MBS Medicare rebate. 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 the below linked report.

Living with COVID-19 Monthly Reporting Template [Excel document]

This is an ongoing program for all GPs and practice nurses in South Western Sydney. You do not need to apply to be included in the program. The project will run until June 2022.

Please contact covid19@swsphn.com.au with any questions.

 

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.

SWSPHN 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.

GP after hours services funded by SWSPHN are not eligible to be reimbursed for home visiting under this program. 

 

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 
  • A person with a disability or a housebound person requiring a COVID vaccination, or testing in person 
  • 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 patient's COVID-19 diagnosis, or may relate to other health conditions (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 SWSPHN. A SWSPHN template for reporting and invoicing will be supplied to participating practices. This report and invoice should be emailed to covid19@swsphn.com.au 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 SWSPHN monthly activity reporting template. This report will include but is not limited to: 

  • Date visit occurred 
  • Time taken 
  • Primary purpose of visit 

Please note: SWSPHN 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 using your LGA in all lowercase e.g., liverpool, highlands, bankstown etc. and the password network.  

 

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 SWSPHN to understand how many unique patients have benefited from the program.

 

How do I generate an SLK? 

SLK's are very easy to generate visit this link:  Primary Mental Health Care - Minimum Data Set (pmhc-mds.net) and enter the patients 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.  

 

How long will this program be available? 

Currently a pool of funding is available until 30 June 2022. However, if the number of home visits provided is high, funding may be expended prior to this date. The frequency of reporting may change at any time and participating practices should periodically monitor the FAQs.  

 

Where to go for more information 

Please contact the COVID-19 Response team. You can email covid19@swsphn.com.au