No plans to pay GPs for uploading to My Health Record: Senate Estimates

Doug Hendrie

25/10/2018 3:33:58 PM

The Federal Government does not plan to remunerate GPs for the time taken to upload health data to My Health Record.

News teaser
Australian Greens leader Richard Di Natale believes the My Health Record current system would result in a loss of income for GPs. (Image: Parliament of Australia)

At a Senate Estimates hearing on Wednesday, Department of Health (DoH) primary care and health systems policy deputy secretary, Caroline Edwards, said there were no specific proposals to pay GPs for the time required to use My Health Record.
She was responding to a question from leader of the Australian Greens Richard Di Natale, who said the current system would result in a loss of income for GPs.
‘You’re asking GPs to do something that takes time, [so] they see less patients and they lose income,’ he said. ‘I support them [using My Health Record], but you’re putting another impost on GPs who have been right royally screwed over because of the [MBS rebate] freeze.
‘This is another burden.’
In response, another DoH staff member stated that ‘we would hope the benefits of the [My Health Record] system would incentivise use of the system by GPs’.
Chief Medical Adviser to the Australian Digital Health Agency, Professor Meredith Makeham, said that a great deal of work had gone into simplifying the upload process.
‘In the proprietary software most commonly used, it should take three to four clicks, 20–30 seconds. We’ve streamlined it as much as possible,’ she said.
The RACGP has previously called for a service-based incentive to encourage the upload of accurate, high-quality data to My Health Record in place of the current Practice Incentive Payment – eHealth Initiative (ePIP).
‘The RACGP does not support [ePIP], under which benefits are paid solely to the practice and which uses arbitrary upload targets as a criterion for eligibility,’ the RACGP position statement on My Health Record states.
Uploading a percentage of a practice’s generated shared health summaries to My Health Record is one of five criteria for the ePIP, but all five criteria must be met to access the funding.
Immediate past Chair of the RACGP Expert Committee – Practice Technology and Management, Dr Nathan Pinskier, told newsGP the problem with the ePIP is that it targets practices rather than GPs.
‘It’s all or none – you have to get all five [ePIP criteria] and if you miss one, you get nothing,’ he said. ‘Four out of five of the criteria are aimed at practice resources, and it’s only the fifth where the GP or nurse does the work.
‘We support the introduction of a service incentive payment that aligns with the principle of [paying] the nominated provider, ie the patient’s usual practitioner.
‘It should be part of coordinated holistic care. It would clearly need to be targeted and well considered.’
The Senate Estimates hearing also revealed that 1.1 million Australians have now opted out, which the Australian Digital Health Agency describes as within expectations.
The Government is also considering further amending My Health Record legislation over privacy concerns.

incentives my health record senate estimates


 Security code