In Communicare V21.3 and later Communicare authenticates to Services Australia using PRODA.

Previously, Communicare used Medicare PKI certificates and a client adapter service to authenticate to Services Australia. Medicare PKI certificates were linked to organisations. The PRODA device effectively replaces the Medicare PKI certificate. Minor IDs are still required.

To use the Services Australia web services, your organisation must be registered with Services Australia using the Provider Digital Access (PRODA) system. PRODA is used to verify and manage providers' details and access a range of government online services.

A PRODA device belongs to one organisation. For Communicare to communicate with Services Australia and access Medicare Online or Australian Immunisation Register (AIR), you must register a Business to Business (B2B) Device for your organisation in PRODA. A B2B device allows your organisation to have authorised access to a service provider using a software product.
Information: A service provider is a service such as Medicare Online, Australian Immunisation Register (AIR), or others such as Health Professional Online Services (HPOS). The former two are relevant to Communicare. Not all service providers are relevant to Communicare.

Within your organisation, only PRODA members who have the Device-Management attribute may register and manage B2B devices.

You can register a B2B device to either the parent or the subsidiary organisation within PRODA. For information about registering subsidiary organisations, see Medicare Guide.

For more information about PRODA, see PRODA (Provider Digital Access) - Services Australia.

Tip: If you need assistance setting up your B2B device, contact the Communicare Support.

Activating your B2B device

Activating a B2B device is a two step process:
  1. Register the device with PRODA.
  2. Provide the Device Activation Code that you receive from Services Australia to Communicare Support who will activate your device.

Registering your B2B device

To register a B2B device with PRODA:
  1. Log into PRODA and select Organisations at the top right of the window.
  2. From Organisations, select the name of the organisation you want to register the new B2B device to. Ensure that the selected organisation has a valid status, and that the ABN is correct.
  3. On the Manage my organisation > B2B Devices tab, click Register New B2B Device.
  4. Enter a Device Name. The device name should be descriptive enough that you or another user can identify what the device is used for and what service transactions it’s performing. The device name must be unique to your organisation. The name may contain any of the following characters:
    • Alphabetic
    • Numeric
    • Underscores
    • Hyphens
    • Full stops
    The name may not contain any spaces.
  5. In the Description field, add any other information that will help you identify the device.
  6. Click Register Device.
Registration is completed. You will receive a Device Activation Code, which is valid for up to 7 days.
Tip: As soon as you are presented with the code, record it in a safe location, as it is not stored.

Activating your device

Note: So that Communicare Support can activate your device, raise a ticket as promptly as possible and make sure you include the Device Activation Code.

Communicare Support records the device ID for your organisation in Medicare Services Australia system parameters. You can also have a separate PRODA device ID for your encounter place.

Note: Once your device is activated, it will remain valid for 6 months. You will need to renew it from PRODA at least every 6 months to avoid interruption to Communicare’s access to connected services.
Communicare will send your administrator an email when expiry of your device is approaching, within 28 days by default. The email includes the following information:
Important: Renew the registration when you receive the email. If the device registration expires, your site won't be able to make claims from, or be paid by Medicare.

To renew your device registration, follow the link in the email or go to the PRODA portal and click Renew.

Extending your PRODA B2B device

Your site must extend the expiry date of your B2B device every 6 months.

Note: If you don't extend your device, your Medicare claiming and AIR uploads could be interrupted and you will need to create a new device.

Communicare and PRODA remind you before the device expiry date. As soon as you receive a reminder, a user who has access to the relevant PRODA Organisation and has the Device-Management role should update your device.

Tip: If you are having trouble extending the expiry of your B2B device, contact the PRODA Helpdesk on 1800 700 199, Option 1.
To renew the B2B device in PRODA:
  1. Log into PRODA and select Organisations at the top right of the window.
    Example PRODA device update page - organisations
  2. On the My organisations page, in the Name field, select the name of the organisation you want to update.
    Example PRODA organisation name
  3. Some organisations will have a subsidiary organisation in which the device was created. If you do, from the Subsidiary Organisations list, select the relevant subsidiary organisation, otherwise, go to the next step.
    Example PRODA subsidiary organisation
  4. From the B2B Devices list, select the device that you want to update.
    Example PRODA B2B device name
  5. On the Device details window, click Extend B2B Device Expiry.
    Example PRODA B2B extend
  6. Click Yes to confirm that you want to extend the expiry date of the B2B device.
  7. Observe that the expiry date of the device has been extended.
    Example PRODA B2B device expiry extension

Once you have extended your B2B device in PRODA, you do not need to do anything else. You do not need to advise Communicare when you have done this, the system will automatically detect this has occurred.

Remember: Repeat these steps before the device's next expiry date.

Managing your Minor ID

It is important that Medicare is advised of the relevant Minor ID for each organisation. In Communicare, Minor IDs can be specified at the organisation level or encounter place level.

Where a Minor ID is specified at the organisation level, and no Minor ID is specified at the encounter place level, the organisation level Minor ID is used. Where a Minor ID is specified at the organisation level, and a different Minor ID is specified at the encounter place level, the encounter place Minor ID is used.

The same logic applies to B2B devices.

The AIR system requires a unique Minor ID per AIR provider number (information provider) for authentication and authorisation purposes for every AIR-WS request. An AIR provider number can only be linked to one PRODA organisation account. If your organisation has more than one AIR provider number, create a sub-organisation for each provider number you want to link. For more information, see PRODA (Provider Digital Access) - Services Australia.

You can advise Medicare Online of your Minor ID when you create a Service Provider in PRODA:
  1. Log into PRODA and select Organisations at the top right of the window.
  2. From Organisations, select the organisation for which you want to manage the Minor ID. You can select a subsidiary organisation to manage at this step instead of a top-level organisation.
  3. Select Service Provider > Add Service Provider.
  4. Select Medicare Online/ECLIPSE/DVA/AIR > Add Service Provider. You have now left PRODA and are working in the Organisation Linking system.
  5. Read the Linking Terms and Conditions. If you agree, set all three boxes and select Accept.
  6. Identify your organisation:
    1. Answer the question: Has your organisation been issued with a PKI site certificate by us?
    2. If you select Yes, for the question What is your PKI RA number?, enter your organisation’s PKI RA number.
    3. In the Identifier field, enter your organisation’s Minor ID number, and click Next.
  7. Your organisation is identified and a relationship with Medicare Online established. Click Next.
Tip: You may register more than one Minor ID for an organisation.