In Practice: MBS changes from 1 March

Morgan Liotta

24/02/2022 2:07:34 PM

MBS updates include the introduction of intra-uterine devices, supporting the RACGP’s calls to increase patient rebates for this service.

Female GP talking to female patient
Changes to patient rebates for MBS items relating to the introduction of intra-uterine devices will come into effect from 1 March.

This week’s round up also includes upcoming women’s health and mental health webinars, as well as how GPs can introduce mixed billing to their practice.
Changes to the MBS
Several changes to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) will be introduced on 1 March. These changes cover services such as pain management, gynaecology and anaesthesia.
GPs providing women’s health services should note that the rebate for item 35503 − introduction of an intra-uterine device (IUD) − will increase from $47.35 to $70.90.
In its submission to the Gynaecology Clinical Committee as part of the MBS Review, the RACGP supported increasing the patient rebate for this item. The college highlighted the significant time, expertise and resources required for IUD introduction as a current barrier to service provision.
Further information about the 1 March changes is available from the March 2022 news page on MBS Online, and in a series of fact sheets.
Introducing mixed billing to a practice
Webinar: Thursday 24 March, 7.00–8.00 pm (AEDT)
Presented by RACGP President Dr Karen Price and Dr Emil Djakic, member of the RACGP Expert Committee – Funding and Health System Reform, this webinar will outline the benefits of a mixed-billing model and how to manage the transition to mixed billing, including discussing fees with patients.
The webinar will also include examples of billing changes and strategies to help GPs evaluate their options and tailor their needs.
Register online.
Long-acting reversible contraception
Webinar: Monday 7 March, 7.30 pm (AEDT)
Preventing unintended pregnancy is an important public health initiative and a key focus of Australia’s National Women’s Health Strategy 2020−30.
One-third of Australian women experience an unintended pregnancy, with rates disproportionately higher among socio-demographically disadvantaged areas and those living in rural areas.

While long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) is effective at preventing a pregnancy, uptake in Australia is low.

The first in the RACGP Specific Interests Sexual Health and AusCAPPS webinar series will provide an overview of LARCs and helpful hints for the novice, as well as what is available, barriers, efficacy, and safety of LARC methods. It will also examine techniques of LARC insertion and removal procedures.
Register online.
GP perspectives on Better Access
A team led by Professor Jane Pirkis from the University of Melbourne’s School of Population and Global Health is conducting an evaluation of Better Access, the Medicare-funded program that reimburses GPs and other selected providers for referring and/or delivering mental health care.
The evaluation team is asking GPs, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists to complete a survey about their experiences with Better Access. The only requirement is that they have worked as a clinician in private practice in 2021.
GPs are invited to share their views about how the initiative works and whether it promotes access to treatment for people with mild-to-moderate mental health conditions. Feedback is welcome from GPs who regularly make referrals or provide care under Better Access, as well as those who rarely or never do so.
The 15-minute survey is open until 5.00 pm, Friday 25 March and can be completed online
Introduction to sexual and reproductive health
Webinar: Thursday 10 March, 7.00−8.30 pm (AEDT) 
The Australian Government has identified improvements in knowledge and awareness of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among health professionals as a key national health priority.
However, GPs have identified several challenges in being confident to provide sexual and reproductive health consultations to their patients.
This webinar provides an overview of sexual and reproductive healthcare in general practice, covering sexual health, sexual history taking, STI screening and contraception.
Register online.
What is a GP mental health specialist?
Webinar: Thursday 3 March, 1.00 pm (AEDT)
The first in the RACGP’s Mental bites webinar series addresses common issues in mental health.
For GPs who have a high level of experience and training in psychological medicine-related skills, as well as for those who are looking to upskill and increase confidence in applying these skills in consultations, this webinar series will offer cover common and pertinent topics in psychological medicine that GPs face in their daily practice.
Register online.
AGPT Program 2023
Webinar: Thursday 3 March, 6.00‌ pm (AEDT)
Applications for the 2023 Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) Program open on Monday 21 March.
The RACGP’s upcoming webinar is an ideal opportunity to learn more about taking the first step towards general practice training, and a valuable tool to ensure prospective applicants are prepared. A recorded session will also be available.
Focusing specifically on application and selection for the AGPT Program, the college will provide an overview of the steps within the process, including:

  • application and eligibility
  • walkthrough of the selection process
  • the Candidate Assessment and Applied Knowledge Test (CAAKT)
  • training pathways – general and rural
  • interview and offer process.                                       
Register online.
Hepatitis B and culturally responsive care
Webinar: Tuesday 22 March, 7.00–8.45 pm (AEDT)
Migrant and refugee communities can face additional challenges in hepatitis B management.
Hosted by Dr Leela Arthur and featuring a panel of experts, this webinar includes in-depth discussion on hepatitis B for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) populations.
The panel of representatives from community, organisations and clinicians working in the refugee and migrant health sector will help equip GPs with knowledge and strategies for providing culturally responsive hepatitis management and care to CALD patients.
Register online.
Australian Healthcare Week
Australia’s largest free healthcare event is taking place 16−17 March in Sydney.
GPs and GPs in training can experience innovations and learning opportunities to enhance their professional development. Further details and registrations are available online.
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