Palliative Care Changes from 1 June 2016

Page last updated: 21 April 2016

Palliative Care items are currently dual listed for initial and continuing treatment.  From 1 June 2016, the restrictions for a number of Palliative Care items are changing. The initial and continuing treatment phases will be merged under the one item code. The item codes currently listed for initial treatment will be retained, while the item codes for continuing treatment will be deleted.  The restriction level of some Palliative Care items will also change.

To minimise disruption to patients, DHS will honour existing prescriptions written for the deleted item codes before 1 June 2016 for a period of 12 months.

PBS claiming of prescriptions written before 1 June 2016 and claimed from 1 June 2016

There are two options for approved hospital pharmacies and community pharmacies:

  • claim the deleted item code, and where the item was Authority Required (STREAMLINED), use the associated four-digit streamlined authority code that was valid for the deleted item at the date of prescribing; or
  • claim the remaining item code, and where the item was Authority Required (STREAMLINED), use the associated four-digit streamlined authority code that is valid for the remaining item at the date of prescribing.

For example, a prescription written for continuing treatment of benzydamine mouthwash, item code 5386L:

  • claim either the deleted item, 5386L, and where applicable, use the streamlined authority code 5651; or
  • claim the remaining item, 5385K, and where applicable, use the streamline authority code 5622.

PBS claiming of prescriptions written and claimed from 1 June 2016

Prescriptions written from 1 June 2016 should be dispensed as prescribed i.e. the remaining item code, and associated four-digit streamlined authority code, valid from 1 June.

Refer to Palliative Care Transition 1 June 2016 spreadsheet (XLSX 14KB) for a full list of item codes and streamline codes.