Department of Health revises guidance on pathology rents

Paul Hayes

16/02/2018 11:41:37 AM

The Department of Health has updated its guidance on prohibited practices in commercial relationships between requesters (ie general practice) and providers of pathology and diagnostic imaging services.

News teaser
The Department of Health has updated its guidance on commercial relations between general practice and pathology services.

The Department of Health (DoH) has made the revisions in its ‘Red Book’, which describes the implementation of various elements of Prohibited Practices Provisions in the Health Insurance Act 1973 (the Act). The revisions are designed to ensure the DoH’s ‘guidance on the prohibited practices provisions … meets contemporary needs’.
Importantly, there has been no change in the way ‘market value’ is defined and the Act has not been changed.
The refresh of the Red Book came about following a contentious period prior to and following the 2016 federal election, when the Federal Government announced that it would be seeking to change the rules for rental arrangements, likely to the detriment of general practice. The RACGP advocated against any such changes, arguing clearer guidance on prohibited practices within the current legislation would be more appropriate.
Changes in the DoH’s Red Book include:

  • removing references to the regulations being new (the Red Book was originally published in 2008 when the new regulations were introduced)
  • information about the compliance and enforcement strategy and its implementation
  • inclusion of examples of scenarios in which issues with rents have been identified by or to the DoH
  • questions and answers in the Q&A section on submitting leases following changed arrangements and reporting inappropriate practices.
There is also increased emphasis on seeking independent assessment/valuation of market value, and a clearer description of the ways in which parties could breach the competition and consumer laws.

Business Department-of-Health health-tracker Pathology-rents


 Security code