Medicare rebates to be reduced for non-VR doctors within five years

Doug Hendrie

22/06/2018 2:11:29 PM

The Federal Government is changing Medicare rebates for non-vocationally registered doctors who provide general practice services in a bid to encourage more to achieve Fellowship of the RACGP or ACRRM, and more doctors to work outside major cities.

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Planned changed to Medicare rebates are designed to encourage more non-VR doctors to achieve Fellowship, and to work of outside major cities.

The Federal Government’s approach to Medicare rebates for non-vocationally registered (VR) doctors is both stick and carrot, coming shortly after the RACGP announced its new program to support non-VR doctors to attain Fellowship.
New changes to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) will come in parallel with the phase out of all Other Medical Practitioner (OMPs) programs, including after hours and rural OMPs, with no new participants to be admitted after 1 November this year.
Non-VR doctors on OMP workforce programs were able to access the highest Medicare A1 rebate in return for working in areas of need, such as after-hours or in remote areas, and working towards their Fellowship.
Doctors currently on an OMP program will have five years to gain Fellowship, with an absolute deadline of 30 June 2023. If they do not gain Fellowship, these doctors will move to a new, lower fee structure set at 80% of the A1 rebate (Group A7 in the MBS).
The RACGP’s new Practice Experience Program (PEP) will offer non-VR doctors a structured education program in a bid to boost Fellowship of the RACGP (FRACGP) exam pass rates.
The program is designed to dramatically boost the support available to non-VR doctors, many of whom are international medical graduates (IMGs) who work in isolated areas in Australia.
The PEP will begin next year with a large RACGP pilot for 400 non-VR doctors, offering online modules, in-practice assessment, and regular contact and support from medical educators and mentors, without requiring hospital time. It follows a smaller pilot cohort in 2016 that showed a boost in Fellowship exam results. 
In addition, non-VR doctors will be able to access Group A7 Medicare items when working in Modified Monash Model 2–7 areas to encourage them to work in private practices in outer suburban, rural, regional and remote areas.

department of health fellowship medicare non vocationally registered other medical practitioner

Dr Muhammad Raihan Anwar   2/08/2018 1:11:55 PM

How are the non VR GPs going to survive while they are striving to gain the fellowship?
I guess that is not a question that interests anyone.


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