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GP Network News, Issue 12 Number 22

In this issue: MBS funding for Shared Health SummaryANF Claim - UpdateAfter Hours Technical Working GroupMBS health assessment item errorThe Professional Relationship Between Doctors and Patients – Updated AMA Guidance

09 Jun 2012

MBS funding for Shared Health Summary

The Minister for Health has provided the following written advice to the President about Medicare benefits for preparing and managing a Shared Health Summary (SHS) for the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record:

"It will be appropriate for GPs to use Medicare Benefits Schedule consultation items (Level B, C, and D) if they are providing ongoing care to a patient, and as part of a clinically relevant consultation, which involves taking a medical history, they are creating, or adding to a shared health summary in relation to a patient's eHealth record.

The use of the longer consultation items will be seen as appropriate by the MedicareAustralia Practitioner Review Process and the Professional Services Review in circumstances where there is clear evidence of patient complexity and there is documentation of a substantial patient history.”

There is no specific MBS funding if a SHS is prepared as a stand alone service.

The AMA’s position remains steadfast that there should be specific MBS items for the work involved in creating a SHS. The AMA recommends that members charge a separate fee for this new clinical service. There are four time-tiered items in the AMA List of Medical Services and Fees for preparing and maintaining a SHS. For information about these items please click here.

ANF Claim - Update

Last week the AMA appeared before Fair Work Australia (FWA) in hearings regarding the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) practice nurse pay claim. The AMA argued that the list of practices that ANF had named in its application for a low paid bargaining authorisation was inaccurate as it failed to correctly identify the relevant employing entities.

Commissioner Cribb made clear that the ANF, as the applicant, was required to accurately identify the employers with which it intended to bargain. The AMA was asked by FWA if it would provide to the ANF the details of the employing entity of those practices represented by the AMA.

In the absence of the consent of those practices, the AMA declined to do so - noting that there is no obligation on these practices to provide this information in any event. The AMA is in the process of contacting practices represented by the AMA to see if they wish to volunteer this information to the ANF.

The ANF may also attempt to contact practices named in its application to ascertain the name of the entity that employs the nurses working in the practice. The full list of practices being targeted by the ANF is in Schedule A of the ANF’s application.

Should the ANF contact you, please feel free to call the AMA Workplace and Advocacy unit on (03) 92808722 prior to giving any response.

Further hearings in the case have not yet been scheduled and it is expected that the case will be heard some time between July and October.

After Hours Technical Working Group

AMA Council of General Practice Chair, Dr Brian Morton, this week attended a meeting of the After Hours Technical Working Group (TWG). The TWG provides advice and feedback to the Department of Health and Ageing on the implementation of the after hours funding reforms.

The AMA has been pushing to ensure that funding support for existing practices providing quality after hours services is maintained once new after hours funding arrangements come into place in 2013. The AMA is also working to ensure continuity of patient care and is seeking arrangements that would see a streamlined flow of information between providers of after hours care and a patients’ regular GP.

Through the TWG the AMA is working hard to ensure that GPs are not disadvantaged by reforms to after hours arrangements and patients have access to quality after hours care services when they need them.

MBS health assessment item error

The Department of Health and Ageing’s MBS Online website has been corrected following an error identified by the AMA regarding the release of the July 2012 MBS data files. The release initially mistakenly advised that health assessment items 701, 703, 705 and 707 would cease on July 1. The items that actually cease on July 1 are 5906, 5908, 5910 and 5912.

The correct software files are now available from the MBS online website for download.

The health assessment items 701, 703, 705 and 707 remain unchanged from July 1.

The Professional Relationship Between Doctors and Patients – Updated AMA Guidance

The AMA this week released two updated Positions Statements that deal with the professional relationship between doctors and patients.

The AMA Position Statement on Sexual Boundaries Between Doctors and Their Patients 2012 provides guidance to doctors on maintaining appropriate sexual boundaries with patients, former patients, and patients’ carers and close family members. This Position Statement replaces the Position Statement on Sexual Conduct Between Doctors and Their Patients 1994.

The major amendments to the Position Statement include:

  • It now refers to maintaining appropriate boundaries with former patients as well as patients’ carers and family members;
  • There is a greater emphasis on consent, including where consent is uncertain or has been withdrawn;
  • It now refers to chaperones; and
  • It refers to guidelines from the Medical Board of Australia on sexual boundaries as well as mandatory reporting.

The AMA Patient Examination Guidelines 2012 statement provides advice to doctors on conducting physical examinations. The Guidelines address consent and communication, privacy, examination of patients who lack decision-making capacity, and the use of chaperones. It replaces the Patient Examination Guidelines 1996.

The major amendments to the Position Statement include:

  • There is a greater emphasis on consent, including where consent is uncertain or has been withdrawn;
  • There is a greater emphasis on how to appropriately conduct an examination; and
  • It now refers to chaperones.
     
We welcome your comments and suggestions as well. Please tell us what you think.

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In this issue

MBS funding for Shared Health Summary

ANF Claim - Update

After Hours Technical Working Group

MBS health assessment item error

The Professional Relationship Between Doctors and Patients – Updated AMA Guidance

Want the new iPad? Just "LIKE US" for a chance to win one!!

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AMA is the peak medical organisation in Australia representing the profession’s interests to Government and the wider community. Your Federal AMA General Practice Policy team can be contacted via email gpnn@ama.com.au or by phone (02) 6270 5400. You can unsubscribe from GPNN by emailing unsubscribe@ama.com.au

Published: 09 Jun 2012