PSR receives $9M from practitioners in final quarter of 2020

Matt Woodley

11/01/2021 5:11:12 PM

The Professional Services Review has also published a Statement of Intent outlining its ‘vision’ and values.

Calculator and stethoscope
The PSR finalised 38 requests made by the Department of Health in relation to practitioners’ provision of services from October–December 2020.

A total of $9,029,203 in repayment directions were made from 1 October to 31 December 2020, according to the Professional Services Review’s (PSR’s) most recent quarterly update.
In that time, Australia’s Medicare watchdog finalised 38 requests made by the Department of Health (DoH) in relation to practitioners’ provision of services, which resulted in 36 effective section 92 agreements under the Health Insurance Act 1973 and one effective final determination.
Only one request resulted in a section 91 ‘no further action outcome’ and, of the finalised matters, 31 involved some form of disqualification.
It also received 16 new requests, including one practitioner who had previously been referred to the PSR, while four new peer-review committees were established and six practitioners were referred to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) due to significant patient safety concerns. In addition, one practitioner was referred to the Australian Federal Police.
Aside from providing an update on Medicare requests, the PSR also released a ‘Statement of Intent’ in response to a Statement of Expectations issued by Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt last year.
The nine-page document confirms the ‘overarching goal of PSR as a contributing agency to Australia’s health system’ and describes the values that ‘guide the activities of the agency’.
‘PSR recognises its responsibilities as a part of the broader Australian Public Service (APS). As a statutory agency, PSR is committed to the Australian Public Service Values and the Code of Conduct outlined in the Public Service Act 1999,’ it states.
‘The agency vision is reinforced by our values, of being ‘Fair, transparent and professional’ in the way we operate.
‘To achieve these values PSR commits to:

  • procedural fairness
  • a consistent approach to reviews
  • be effective and impartial in decision-making
  • have transparency in outcomes
  • explain the process to stakeholders
  • inform those under review of their rights and responsibilities
  • share information about the scheme, outcomes and activities
  • comply with Commonwealth legislative requirements and expectations.’
According to the PSR’s annual reports, DoH requests have steadily increased over the past five years to reach 127 in 2019–20 – the busiest year since 2008–09 – while in the past four years the number of cases resulting in ‘no further action’ has dramatically reduced.
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