GP News – Oct ’15
The MBS Review: Have your say until 7 November
As part of the Australian Government’s Healthier Medicare initiative, the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce is currently undertaking a review of the entire MBS to ensure it reflects current best clinical practice and promotes the provision of health services that improve health outcomes. The MBS has more than 5,700 services listed, most of which have never been subject to evidence-based assessment. The Review is clinician led and is looking at opportunities for reform of the MBS over the short, medium and longer terms. As well as looking at specific MBS items, the Taskforce will also review the legislation and rules which underpin the MBS.
On September 27 2015, the consultation process to involve all stakeholders with an interest in Medicare – from clinicians to health consumers was announced. The format will be an online survey or written submission which is open until 9 November 2015.
To have your say on the MBS review please click here for the survey.
A recently screened ABC Four Corners program by Dr Norman Swan, “Wasted” has garnered lively discussion across practices, in hospital corridors and throughout the primary care sector. The controversy in part was due to claims such as “When we head to the GP most of us assume ‘the doctor knows best’. But the truth is, many of the scans, tests and procedures ordered by medical practitioners are wasteful, unnecessary and potentially harmful.”
The report goes on to look at four common health complaints – back pain, knee pain, chest pain and prostate testing and shows how the cost to patients and taxpayers is escalating. Analysis by Four Corners found more than a hundred inappropriate tests and procedures were receiving Medicare rebates.
An on-going campaign from NPS MedicineWise, The Choosingwisely community campaign, offers a timely reminder that starting a conversation with patients about unnecessary tests, treatment and procedures is an important role of the health professional in helping to create patient awareness about the risk or potential negligible outcome following a test or treatment.
The NPS MedicineWise campaign shares the views of participating Australian medical colleges and societies and recommendations of the tests, treatments, and procedures that clinicians and consumers should question. Each recommendation is based on the best available evidence.
Importantly, NPS MedicineWise cautions they are not prescriptive and are intended as guidance to start a conversation about what is appropriate and necessary. Furthermore as each situation is unique, clinicians and consumers should use the recommendations to collaboratively formulate their own appropriate healthcare plan together.
For more information on the Choosingwisely campaign go to www.choosingwisely.org.au/
To view the ABC Four Corners “Wasted’ by Dr Norman Swan CLICK HERE
Resources for GPs available on snhn.org.au
The SNHN GP Resources page and Hospital News page are two must visit pages for the time pressed GP as they provide relevant and useful information.
The GP Resources page provides a link to Guidelines and Algorithms; a list of commonly used forms to assist medical practitioners day-to-day and useful medical websites compiled by Dr Hans Blom.
The Hospital News pages provides updates on hospital information including referrals to The Acute Assessment Unit (AAU) which aims to provide patients and their referring doctors with a medical service that eliminates long waits in the Emergency Department (ED) and delivers a multi-disciplinary, comprehensive care plan for patients with complex medical issues.
To access information on how to refer to the Acute Assessment Unit (AAU) CLICK HERE
Family Planning NSW introduces low fees for at clinic services
Family Planning NSW is a not for profit organisation that relies on donations, self-generated income and government funding to provide services. From November 2015, Family Planning NSW will begin introducing low fees for services at their clinics.They will continue to provide bulk billed services for concession card holders and those aged 18 years and under.
An online fees guide for clients and referring clinicians is available at www.fpnsw.org.au/clinicfees