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Assistance required Closing the gap pharmaceutical benefit scheme co-payment program patient registration

October 22, 2021

A significant number of eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients have not been correctly registered for the Closing the Gap Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme Co-payment Program (the Program). As of 1 February 2022, these patients will not have the applicable co-payment reduction applied when their prescriptions are being dispensed. PBS General Schedule medicines prescribed under the Program have been issued for patients who are not formally registered for the Program with Services Australia. The Department is seeking your assistance to address this issue.

To ensure eligible patients are formally registered for the Program and continue to receive their PBS medicines at the reduced PBS co‑payment, we are asking that you review the registration status for any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander patients. Patient registration status can be checked using the Health Professional Online Services (HPOS). If the patient is not formally registered with Services Australia, HPOS will indicate that the person is “inactive”. In this case you will need to contact that patient to arrange to have them assessed by either a PBS Prescriber or an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner.

This issue must be rectified before 31 January 2022 to ensure all eligible Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander patients who have previously received their PBS General Schedule medicines under the Program can continue to do so.

Information on registering patients for the Program can be found on the Department of Health website

For PBS Prescribers, if you require information on using HPOS this can be found on the Services Australia website

The Department of Health appreciates the important work that Practice Managers/ PBS Prescribers do and trust that you will assist the Department in ensuring that all eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are correctly registered for the program.