A new Medicare item is available for bulk-billed microbiology testing for the detection of COVID-19 in asymptomatic workers who are required to travel interstate as a driver of a heavy vehicle.
Testing for asymptomatic interstate heavy vehicle drivers under the new item can be provided nationally, but only by private sector pathology providers on a bulk-billing basis.
To access the service, eligible patients may present at an Approved Pathology Collection Centre operated by a private pathology provider for testing and should provide evidence they are employed, hired, retained or contracted to travel interstate as a driver of a heavy vehicle.
Eligible patients are not be required to have a request from a medical practitioner to access the service and all testing is on a voluntary basis.
The item requires reporting of test results to all appropriate authorities in accordance with the relevant state or territory legislation or regulations and patients, within 24 hours of receipt of the specimen.
At this time, Item 69501 is scheduled to be listed until 30 September 2020.
Clinical Labs advertise that they have over 900 conveniently located COVID-19 collection centres which can be found at clinicallabs.com.au/location and select ‘COVID-19 Centre’ from the ‘All Facilities’ dropdown menu.