The CRTCA Program ceased on 31 July 2022.
Access to the ProjectCOVID module in GuildCare was removed as of 1 August 2022 and Pharmacies can no longer supply or claim Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) under the CRTCA.

 

The CRTCA Program is a temporary program operating from Monday 24 January to Sunday 31 July 2022, to provide eligible concession card holders access to free rapid antigen testing products (RATs), supplied through Participating Community Pharmacies.

Previously, under the CRTCA Program, eligible concession card holders were able to access up to ten (10) RATs over a three month period, with no more than five (5) RATs in any given month.

On 11 March 2022, National Cabinet announced the CRTCA Program would be extended until 31 July 2022, with eligible concession card holders able to access up to an additional ten (10) RATs, therefore increasing the maximum number of RATs available to eligible concession card holders to twenty (20).

The PPA does not have information about which pharmacies have RATs in stock, you will need to contact pharmacies yourself to find tests.

Who is eligible?

Holders of the following eligible concession cards are eligible for RATs under the CRTCA Program:

  • Pensioner Concession Card;
  • Commonwealth Senior Health Care Card;
  • Health Care Card (including Low Income Health Care Card); or
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold, White or Orange Cards.

To access RATs under the program, eligible concession card holders must provide their concession card number to a Participating Community Pharmacy either in person, through their carer, or via their pre-existing home delivery service with the Participating Community Pharmacy.

Eligible concession card holders must also provide verbal positive consent either in person, through their carer, or via their pre-existing home delivery service with the Participating Community Pharmacy for the Participating Community Pharmacy to record relevant eligible concession card details into ProjectCOVID for supply, compliance and Community Pharmacy reimbursement purposes.

How many tests can be provided?

Under the CRTCA program, eligible concession card holders are able to access up to 20 RATs over a six-month period, with no more than 5 RATs in any given month. For this program, the months are defined as:

  • Month 1: 24 January 2022 to 28 February 2022
  • Month 2: 1 March 2022 to 31 March 2022
  • Month 3: 1 April 2022 to 30 April 2022
  • Month 4: 1 May 2022 to 31 May 2022
  • Month 5: 1 June 2022 to 30 June 2022
  • Month 6: 1 July 2022 to 31 July 2022.

A pharmacy can only provide an eligible concession card holder with a maximum of one pack (containing either 2 or 5 RATs) in one day through the program. The pack size you are provided with may depend on what stock the pharmacy has available.

Where do I get the RATs?

RATs can be collected by eligible concession card holders from Participating Community Pharmacies. You can find your local community pharmacy by visiting the Healthdirect Service Finder and searching using your postcode or suburb. This website does not provide information about whether sites have RATs in stock and the PPA also does not have this information.

What if I have other questions?

A list of frequently asked questions can be downloaded here

The Department of Health’s Program Factsheet can be found here.

To be eligible to become a Participating Community Pharmacy under this temporary CRTCA Program a Community Pharmacy must:

  • Be approved to dispense pharmaceutical benefits as part of the PBS defined in Section 90 of the National Health Act 1953 (Cwlth) (Section 90 Community Pharmacy)
  • Be accredited by an approved Pharmacy Accreditation Program, or in the process of attaining accreditation within one month of lodging the application to become registered to participate in the CRTCA Program. The Commonwealth, via the Pharmacy Programs Administrator, may waive the requirement to hold or be seeking accreditation to ensure eligible concession card holders can access the CRTCA Program
  • Subscribe to the GuildCare platform and have the ProjectCOVID module enabled
  • Have its own stock of TGA-approved RATs
  • Have an existing Account, or register an Account with the Pharmacy Programs Administrator via the PPA Portal
  • Agree to deliver CRTCA Program Services in accordance with the General Terms and the CRTCA Program Rules, and
  • Continue to meet the above eligibility criteria while participating in the CRTCA Program.

A Participating Community Pharmacy must notify the PPA immediately when it becomes aware of any circumstance, event or fact that may affect the Participating Community Pharmacy’s eligibility to participate in the CRTCA Program.

When supplying RATs under the CRTCA Program, a Participating Community Pharmacy must:

  • Sight, or have previously sighted, and record an eligible person’s Commonwealth concession card and confirm that verbal positive consent to record these details into the ProjectCOVID module is provided
  • Display, in a location prominent to where the free RATs will be accessed, the Privacy and Consent Notice for verbal positive consent to be obtained
  • Provide RATs only on the pharmacy’s physical premises, unless they are being supplied as part of a pre-existing home delivery service
  • Confirm that the eligible concession card holder has not already been supplied either:
    • Five RATs in the current month (note: 24 – 31 Jan is included as month of Feb) or
    • The full allocation of twenty RATs for the six-month period.
  • No discretionary supply will be permitted under the CRTCA Program
  • Where the concession card holder has not exceeded their allocation for the six month period or their monthly allocation, provide the individual(s) with a supply of RATs (minimum quantity of two RATs per eligible concession card number) and record the supply details in ProjectCOVID
  • The pharmacy must ensure that any supply under the CRTCA Program will be at no charge to the concession card holder. Where a patient has already received their allocation under the program, a pharmacy may provide additional tests outside of the Program at retail price to the patient.

CRTCA Program Registration

To register as a Participating Community Pharmacy under the CRTCA Program, a Community Pharmacy must:

  1. Have a current PPA Service Provider ID. See PPA Registration below for further information
  2. Have a registered account with GuildLink and access to the ProjectCOVID module enabled. See GuildLink ProjectCOVID Access below for further information
  3. Agree to the Program Rules.

PPA Registration

To participate in the CRTCA Program, a Community Pharmacy must have a registered Service Provider account with the Pharmacy Programs Administrator and maintain a PPA Service Provider ID.

If your pharmacy does not already have a PPA account, further details on how to register are available here

If your pharmacy has an existing account, you can use this Guide to find your PPA Service Provider ID.

GuildLink ProjectCOVID Access

To participate in the CRTCA Program, a Participating Community Pharmacy must have a registered GuildCare account to access the ProjectCOVID Module. New users will not be charged for using the ProjectCOVID system.

Further details on how to obtain access to the ProjectCOVID Module are available at https://ng.guildcare.com.au/projectcovid

To activate the ProjectCOVID module, Participating Community Pharmacies will need to submit to ProjectCOVID their pharmacy’s:

  • PPA Service Provider ID. This User Guide provides instructions on locating your PPA Service Provider ID
  • QCPP ID. The ProjectCOVID information page provides instructions here. If you do not have QCPP accreditation and are not in the process of gaining accreditation, you can apply for an exemption from the Department of Health by emailing the PPA on support@ppaonline.com.au 

Please note the PPA Support Centre cannot provide you with support on registering for the ProjectCOVID module beyond helping you locate your PPA Service Provider ID or QCPP exemption.

Change of circumstances

It is the responsibility of the Main Authorised Person of the Participating Community Pharmacy to ensure that the Participating Community Pharmacy’s registration is always up to date. Participating Community Pharmacies must notify the Pharmacy Programs Administrator within 14 days of the following changes:

  1. Change of ownership
  2. Change of Section 90 approval number under the National Health Act 1953 (Cwlth).

Where a pharmacy has had a full ownership change and created a new Service Provider account in the PPA Portal they must also ensure they have entered the pharmacy’s new PPA Service Provider ID into GuildLink’s ProjectCOVID. You can find your PPA Service Provider ID using this Guide.

ProjectCOVID Claiming

Participating Community Pharmacies must submit all eligible CRTCA transactions (claims) via the ProjectCOVID Module.

With each supply transaction, the Participating Community Pharmacy must record the required details of each supply into ProjectCOVID to enable reimbursement.

The minimum required details to be recorded of each supply transaction in order to receive payment are:

  • Concession Card Number
  • Number of individual RATs supplied (RAT Quantity)
  • Date of supply (Transaction Date)

Recording of transaction details must occur at time of supply to an eligible patient.

Eligible transactions (claims) are then batched by GuildLink and sent to the PPA for payment. Payment is therefore not in real time.  

For information on data entry into ProjectCOVID, please visit GuildCare’s website available here: https://ng.guildcare.com.au/projectcovid.

If you need additional support, please contact the GuildCare Support at support@guildcare.com.au or on 1300 647 492. The GuildCare Support Desk is open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 6.00pm EST.

All information entered into ProjectCOVID must be correct as ProjectCOVID will not have the ability to amend or cancel claims in the initial stages of the CRTCA Program and as the PPA does not have access to ProjectCOVID we cannot assist pharmacies to alter data. 

CRTCA Payments

CRTCA payments are made to pharmacies via the PPA.  All payment data is extracted from ProjectCOVID by GuildLink prior to being provided to the PPA for payment.

The PPA must make payment according to the data provided to us by GuildLink. We can advise you how many total transactions and RATs you have been paid for however, we are not able to assist pharmacies in altering data. Please therefore do not contact the PPA regarding data entry errors in ProjectCOVID.

A Participating Community Pharmacy will receive the following reimbursement for each RAT supplied under the CRTCA Program from 24 January 2022 (CRTCA Program commencement date):

  • Community pharmacies will be reimbursed a set amount for the unit cost of the Rapid Antigen Tests (which will be $10 plus GST per test initially, with ongoing review of unit prices). For each supply transaction processed for an eligible person under this program (either two or five 5 tests per transaction), an Administration Handling and Infrastructure (AHI) fee of $4.30 per transaction will be reimbursed to the Community Pharmacy.
  • Only one handling and administration fee will be payable per transaction regardless of the number of RATs supplied. Only one transaction per eligible concession card number will be permitted per day at the same Participating Community Pharmacy.

Examples of how payments will be calculated are below:

Number of RATs Supplied RAT Payment (Incl GST) AHI Payment Total Payment
2 $22.00 $4.30 $26.30
5 $55.00 $4.30 $59.30

Pharmacies may be requested by the Department of Health or the PPA, to provide information in respect of its RAT purchase price (e.g. invoice or monthly statement) from the relevant wholesaler or supplier to inform appropriate adjustments to reimbursement calculations during the term of the program. This will assist in supporting the Australian Government’s efforts to monitor market dynamics. If this information is requested, it must be provided within two weeks of the date of request.

CRTCA Payment Schedule

The following table outlines the payment schedule for CRTCA payments.


Transaction Batch Period
GuildLink to export ProjectCOVID transactions and provide acceptable data file to PPA by: PPA to process payments* based on received transactions by:
24/01/2022 to 30/01/2022 Paid 15/02/2022
31/01/2022 to 13/02/2022  Paid 23/02/2022
14/02/2022 to 27/02/2022 Paid 08/03/2022
28/02/2022 to 13/03/2022 Paid 21/03/2022
14/03/2022 to 27/03/2022 Paid 05/04/2022
28/03/2022 to 10/04/2022 Paid 19/04/2022
11/04/2022 to 24/04/2022 Paid 03/05/2022
25/04/2022 to 08/05/2022 Paid 16/05/2022
09/05/2022 to 22/05/2022 Paid 02/06/2022
23/05/2022 to 05/06/2022 Paid 14/06/2022
06/06/2022 to 19/06/2022 Paid 27/06/2022
20/06/2022 to 03/07/2022 Paid 12/07/2022
04/07/2022 to 17/07/2022 Paid 26/07/2022
18/07/2022 to 31/07/2022  Paid 09/08/2022

*Please note it may take 1-2 business days for payments to reach your bank account after we have made payment depending upon the payment timeframes of your bank.

Claim Adjustment and Cancellations

ProjectCOVID will not have the ability to amend or cancel claims in the initial stages of the CRTCA Program. If this changes, the Program Rules will be updated and relevant communications will be made to all Participating Community Pharmacies.

Please note that the PPA does not have the ability to assist pharmacies in altering data once it has been submitted into ProjectCOVID.

Please see the link to the Frequently Asked Questions regarding the CRTCA Program.

As new information becomes available these FAQs may be updated, please regularly review this document if you have any questions.

Using the ProjectCOVID module

Contact GuildCare via support@guildcare.com.au

PPA portal registration, Program Rules and payments

Contact the PPA Support Centre, between 9am to 8pm (AEST), Monday to Friday on support@ppaonline.com.au or 1800 951 285.

Please note the PPA cannot help you with data entry or with interpretation, cancellation or amendment of any data that is held within ProjectCOVID.