Providing pathology services

Providers of pathology services must be approved or accredited with us to claim Medicare benefits.

Eligibility

A Medicare benefit can only be paid for a pathology service if:

  • the service was provided by or on behalf of an Approved Pathology Practitioner (APP)
  • the service was provided in an Accredited Pathology Laboratory (APL)
  • the proprietor of the laboratory was an Approved Pathology Authority (APA), and the specimen was collected by the person or treating practitioner, or a contracted employee of the treating practitioner at:
    • the person's residence
    • an Approved Collection Centre (ACC), or
    • a hospital or recognised residential care service or institution

You’ll also need to renew your approval or accreditation after a certain period. We’ll write to you around 3 months before your renewal is due. We need to receive your renewal at least 10 days before expiry to avoid a gap in eligibility for Medicare benefits.

To apply or renew, complete the appropriate forms and steps outlined in the table below.

If your application is incomplete, it’ll be returned to you and you’ll need to re-apply.

It’s your responsibility to make sure your details are kept up to date, accurate and complete in accordance with your undertaking as an APA or APP. If information is out of date, incorrect or incomplete, you may be in breach of your undertaking and lose eligibility for Medicare benefits.

An authorised representative of the APA or signatory of the APA or APP who made the undertaking can update your details in writing to:

Department of Human Services
Pathology Registration
GPO Box 9822
MELBOURNE  VIC  3001

Applying and renewing your approval or accreditation

There are interim arrangements to shorten the approval process for new ACCs. From 23 August 2016, applications for new ACCs are limited to a 6 month approval period.
Accreditation Applying Renewing
Approved Pathology Authority (APA) To become an APA, submit the Approved Pathology Authority Application form (HW011) and pay the associated fee. You need to be an APA before applying for an APL or ACC. After 12 months, you'll need to renew using the Approved Pathology Authority Application form (HW011) and pay the associated fee.
Approved Pathology Practitioner (APP) To become an APP, you must be an appropriately qualified and experienced medical practitioner, submit the Approved Pathology Practitioner form (HW009) and pay the associated fee. After 12 months, you'll need to renew using the Approved Pathology Practitioner form (HW009) and pay the associated fee.
Accredited Pathology Laboratory (APL)

An APA must apply for accreditation of the pathology laboratory from the National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia (NATA) before applying for accreditation from us.

To apply for an APL, submit the Application for approval of premises as an accredited pathology laboratory form (HW010) with the advisory or accreditation report from NATA, and pay the associated fee.

To renew, submit the Application for approval of premises as an Accredited Pathology Laboratory form (HW010) with the accreditation report from NATA, and pay the associated fee.
Approved Collection Centre (ACC)

To apply for an ACC, an APA must submit the Application or cancellation of an Approved Collection Centre form (HW035) and pay the associated fee (if applicable).

To cancel an ACC, submit the Application or cancellation of an Approved Collection Centre form (HW035).

For ACCs renewing or subject to merger or acquisition, the standard 12 month arrangements apply

You’ll need to renew your ACC using the Approved Collection Centres Renewal form (HW053) and pay the associated fee (if applicable).

Pathology register

Use the Approved Collection Centre Register to find current ACCs.

List of authorised witnesses

Read the list of authorised witnesses on the application forms.

Page last updated: 23 August 2016

This information was printed Friday 30 September 2016 from humanservices.gov.au/health-professionals/subjects/providing-pathology-services It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at humanservices.gov.au/siteinformation when using this material.