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06 Dec 2018

GPs and practice managers are advised of the implementation of changes to Health Professional Online Services (HPOS) aimed at improving the security of Medicare card numbers. The changes were introduced on 1 December 2018 in response to the recommendations made by the Independent Review of Health Providers’ Access to Medicare Card Numbers. The changes affect delegations in HPOS and inactive users.

At the time of the Review, the AMA emphasised the need to ensure that any response be proportionate to the risk and should not unnecessarily increase the administrative burden on practitioners or practices.

The changes mean that all new and existing delegations in HPOS will automatically expire after a 12 month period and require renewal in order to continue. To support the change to the delegation limits, HPOS has been updated to allow:

  • both a Provider and administrative staff to manage delegations in HPOS, which will allow a delegate to submit a delegation request to a provider; and
  • a delegation period to be set up or renewed for any specified time limit up to a maximum 12-month period.

These changes were implemented to support HPOS users adjust to the new delegation time limitations and to address feedback received from the health professional community regarding the need to

have more flexibility in the management of delegations in HPOS.

Please note that all HPOS users will have their access to HPOS suspended after 6 months of inactivity in HPOS. Suspension of accounts will begin in 1 March 2019 and will affect HPOS users who have not accessed their accounts 3 months prior to the 1 December updates (i.e. users who have not accessed HPOS since 1 September 2018).

There is now a streamlined process for a HPOS user to reactivate their access online when logging onto HPOS using their PRODA account or PKI certificate.

Another review recommendation was to phase down the telephony patient verification service. More information on this change is expected in the coming months.  

More information about HPOS can be found on the website.

The Final Report of the Review

The AMA’s Submission to the Review


Published: 06 Dec 2018