MBS Review Taskforce feedback

Paul Hayes

13/11/2019 1:25:07 PM

The RACGP is seeking member input on a number of taskforce reports.

Using MBS online
The RACGP has said it will respond to reports where there is ‘strong support or concern from our members’.

The Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce has released several reports containing recommendations for stakeholder consultation.
The RACGP has said it will respond to reports where there is ‘strong support or concern from our members’.
‘We invite [members] to read through the recommendations in the reports that pique your interest and provide feedback via the listed contact,’ the RACGP stated on its website.

Paediatric surgery clinical committee
The report refers to circumcisions performed by GPs.
It recommends that organisations, including the RACGP, participate in a survey related to circumcision and circumcision revision procedures in order to better understand how often and why they are undertaken.
Provide feedback to 

Cleft dental services – Category 7 clinical committee
It has been recommended that GPs and dentists be allowed to refer for all oral and maxillofacial items. This is in line with improving and simplifying treatment pathways by removing unnecessary restrictions.
The report also outlines when item descriptors should be amended in order to enable procedures to be referred by GPs and dentists.
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Otolaryngology – Head and neck clinical committee
This report does contain references to GPs, but only in relation to the 2016 removal of separate fees for GPs and specialists for a number of procedural items.
The committee has recommended that access to audiology items be expanded to include any medical practitioner referral.
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Consumer panel clinical committee
The committee’s recommendations are aimed at ensuring the MBS is consumer-centred and supports equitable access to healthcare.
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Ophthalmology clinical committee
This committee has recommended the descriptor for item 11210 (pattern electroretinography) be amended in order to prevent GPs from claiming this ‘highly specialised’ item.
While the volume of GP claims is low, it did increase between 2016–17 and 2017–18.
The committee has recommended targeted improvement of rural and remote eye services to assist in closing the gap in eye health and vision care by 2020.
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Psychiatry clinical committee
After reviewing items 291 and 293 (GP-requested management plans), this committee agreed they are functioning as intended.
It has recommended the introduction of a new suite of items to provide telehealth consultations to patients in major cities. Access to these items should be triggered by an initial assessment from a psychiatrist via videoconference upon referral from a GP or nurse practitioner.
The report calls for GP and nurse practitioner education on the group therapy process.
The committee is in favour of the introduction of requirements that support GPs’ inclusion in case conferences.
Provide feedback to 
All feedback must be submitted by 9.00 am, Wednesday 27 November.
Established in 2015, the MBS Review Taskforce is designed to consider ‘how services can be better aligned with contemporary clinical evidence, and practice and improve health outcomes for patients’. It is also identifying whether any services are obsolete, outdated or potentially unsafe.

The RACGP’s previous submission to the MBS Review Taskforce can be found on its website.

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