Attention aged care providers: new Medicare web services start in just six weeks

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Aged care operators only have until 13 March to prepare for the new arrangements – and many will be caught out according to software providers.

From this date, providers will require web services ready software to access Services Australia’s systems, including its aged care web services which are used to submit aged care claims and data to Medicare.

Services Australia is also replacing the current Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) security with Provider Digital Access (PRODA), meaning operators will need a National Authentication Service for Health (NASH) SHA-2 PKI certificate to authenticate to these channels:

  • My Health Record
  • Healthcare Identifiers (HI) Service
  • Electronic Prescribing
  • Secure Messaging.

If providers are not prepared, they will need to input the data manually – increasing administrative costs and pressure.

Only a small number of software providers are also up-to-date on the changes (see table above) – meaning there are likely hundreds of providers that could be caught out.

Mirus Australia is one provider that is ‘web services ready’.

“We completed our notice of integration in June 2021 – it was a slow and arduous process, and with 47 days to go, there is a risk that many vendors will miss the boat,” said co-founder James Price. “They would need to dig out their fax machines.”

James says Mirus is offering a ‘Plan B’ for operators concerned about losing connectivity to Services Australia, but they need to act fast – he estimates it could take up to four weeks to provide a connector because of the paperwork required by the Department.

Epicor is another provider that is also ready to go.

Greg O’Loan, Epicor Regional Vice President for Australia, New Zealand & Pacific, said, “Maintaining compliance with Medicare regulations is difficult for aged care providers, and the latest round of changes is exerting significant pressure on management teams. It is critical for providers to meet the compliance deadlines ahead of time, or risk non-conformance notices.”

“Software solutions such as Epicor Senior Living enable aged care providers to meet PRODA compliance requirements in an integrated way, and eliminate the need to re-enter data into multiple systems. This reduces error rates, improves cashflow, and enhances the productivity of the finance and administration team.”

“At a time of great pressure on care givers, providers, and the aged care system, the use of industry compliant software solutions will help to ensure that aged care providers have the resources they need to provide the highest standards of care for their clients and residents.”

You can find more information here.