Medicare Web Services – How to skip manual PRODA authentication
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Medicare Web Services – How to skip manual PRODA authentication

The healthcare industry has faced significant pressure over the past 18 months and the transition to Medicare Web Services represents another change for busy GPs and practice staff to familiarise themselves with. That’s why MedicalDirector has been looking at ways we can help practices reduce their administrative burden when using the new system.

As part of this change, there is a Government-mandated requirement for practices to verify their identity through the online Provider Digital Access (PRODA) system. This can be a manual and time-consuming process. However, we’re pleased to confirm that MedicalDirector will manage the entire PRODA authentication process on behalf of MedicalDirector software users — removing the need for you to step through the manual authentication process.

Not yet familiar with the new PRODA requirements? Read on for a quick overview of the changes, and how MedicalDirector can save you time by helping you skip the PRODA queue.

What’s changing?

The Australian Government is currently rolling out Medicare Web Services – a newer, more secure way to transmit data to Medicare. Medicare Web Services will replace the current Medicare system, which is set to expire on 13 March 2022. From this date onwards, practices must use web services compatible software to access Services Australia’s digital health and aged care channels, including Medicare Online, DVA, the Australian Immunisation Register and ECLIPSE.

The current security process will be replaced with the Provider Digital Access (PRODA) authentication. This is an online system that Medicare Web Services will use to verify each person’s identity and organisation using the Australian Business Register. The PRODA authentication system will replace the old PKI system.

PRODA has a number of benefits over PKI:

  • It’s more secure than the current PKI technology
  • It’s fully digital and portable across web-enabled devices
  • You don’t need to install any additional hardware or software
  • Your individual PRODA account belongs to you, so you retain it even if you change employers.

How do I access Medicare Web Services?

Medicare Web Services integrates directly with your practice management software. If you are currently using desktop/on-premise software, your practice software will need to be updated to be compatible with the new Medicare Web Services platform.

If you use MedicalDirector software (Clinical, Pracsoft or Bluechip), you will need to upgrade to the compatible software once its released, or switch to MedicalDirector Helix. More information about the upgrade process can be found on the MedicalDirector Medicare Web Services updates page. For practices using MedicalDirector Helix, the Medicare Web Services update will occur automatically, so there is nothing further you need to do.

It’s important to make sure your practice is using web services compatible software by 13 March 2022. Otherwise, you will no longer be able to communicate with Medicare in any way. This includes patient verification checks, transmitting claims to Medicare and receiving payments from Medicare.

Do I have to set up PRODA?

Clinical software providers have the option of managing the PRODA authentication process through the software, or assigning this responsibility to the software user. Therefore, what you’re required to do will depend on whether or not your software provider is authenticating on your behalf:

If your software provider is authenticating for you:

You don’t need to do anything at all. Once you have upgraded to a web services compliant software, you’re ready to go. This is the case if you are using MedicalDirector software.

If your software provider is NOT authenticating for you:

You will need to go through a number of manual steps to authenticate yourself and your practice through PRODA:

Step 1. Register your individual account in PRODA
Step 2. Register your organisation in PRODA
Step 3. Link Medicare Online as a service provider to your organisation
Step 4. Manage your members and delegates in PRODA
Step 5. Add any subsidiaries, if applicable.
Step 6. Renewal will be required to continue to access Medicare Web Services through the PRODA web portal every 6 months

MedicalDirector will manage PRODA authentication on behalf of users

At MedicalDirector, we’re focused on making things easier for practices, and we believe that managing the PRODA authentication process through the software will lead to a significant time-saving for all MedicalDirector software users – allowing you to spend time where it matters most.

To stay up-to-date with Medicare Web Services and PRODA, visit the MedicalDirector Medicare Web Services updates page. Or, if you’d like to talk to us about making the switch to MedicalDirector software, contact us today.

An Introduction to Medicare Web Services