Maybe you have heard about MyMedicare on the news and you’re wondering – what’s it all about?
MyMedicare is a new initiative from the Australian government. It is a voluntary patient registration model designed to improve the continuity of care and formalise the relationship between patients and their primary care providers.
It does this by providing specific funding models for doctors and patients who have registered their formal relationship through MyMedicare.
Most people have a preferred GP they like to see – a doctor they trust and have built a strong relationship with, often over many years. These relationships are the backbone of healthcare in Australia (and most of the world). They provide honest communication and hollistic understanding of the person seeking care. This results in personalised care for the individual and significantly reduces the burden on tertiary systems including our hospitals.
MyMedicare invites people to nominate their preferred GP and practice – this allows you to access particular rebates that would not be available to you without registration (for example, longer phone consultations).
Registration opened on 1 October 2023.
It is free, completely voluntary and available to anyone with a Medicare card or DVA (Department of Veterans’ Affairs) Veteran card.
At Wirreanda on Wheatsheaf Surgery we encourage patients to talk to our friendly staff or their GP about the benefits of registering.
Benefits of registering
Registering for MyMedicare formalises the relationship between a patient, their doctor and their practice.
Some of the benefits of MyMedicare are focused on subsidies for phone and video consultations, but are only available to those who are registered.
Patients most likely to benefit are:
- Older Australians
- People with disabilities or reduced mobility
- People seeking treatment for mental health
- People with chronic diseases
- People in rural or remote areas without a GP nearby
In addition, from mid-2024, people with chronic disease who visit hospital frequently may benefit from better connections to more appropriate care in general practice with the aim of improving continuity of care. These benefits may be extended to those in residential aged care from August 2024.
Eligibility for registration
To be eligible to register for MyMedicare you must have a Medicare or DVA Veteran card.
You must also have had two face-to-face visits at your nominated practice in the past 24 months.
People living in remote locations need only have had one face-to-face visit in that time.
Anyone facing hardship including homelessness, domestic or family violence is exempt from all eligibility requirements.
Parents or guardians and children can register at the same practice, if any are already registered.
Children under 14 years of age need the consent of a parent or guardian to be registered.
Teens aged 14-17 may register themselves and do not require consent.
Anyone 14 years of age requires their own myGov account to register.
How do I register?
From 1 October, 2023, patients can register with Wirreanda on Wheatsheaf Surgery and nominate their preferred GP.
There are several ways to do this:
- If you prefer not to go online, ask our staff at reception for a registration form which you can fill out and sign.
Registration is completely voluntary and is only confirmed when both the patient and the practice consent to formalising their relationship.
Patients unable to register or consent themselves may be registered by a person who holds power of attorney, a guardianship order or by a next of kin.
Changing your GP or practice
Registering for MyMedicare does not forever tie you to a doctor or practice. You may change GPs within your practice or follow your preferred GP to a new practice if they move.
You may also visit a GP at a different practice at any time, however, you would need to meet the minimum eligibility requirements before registering a new practice with MyMedicare and accessing benefits. If you visit a GP at a different practice, you will not be able to access the MyMedicare rebates at that practice whilst you are registered at another.
Data safety and privacy
Information you provide when registering for MyMedicare is kept securely and your privacy will be maintained.
Registration merely records the relationship between you, your GP and their practice and does not store any of your private clinical health information.
You can read more information about how the MyMedicare program collects, uses and discloses your personal information consistent with the Privacy Act here.