In Practice: Medicare compliance for disability assessments

Morgan Liotta

2/05/2024 2:24:47 PM

The RACGP is reminding members how to properly conduct MBS health assessments for patients with disability following reports of non-compliance.

GP talking to child with a disability
There are a handful of MBS items that can be used to undertake annual health assessments for people with an intellectual disability.

This week’s In Practice also details updates to best support patients with disability, practice resources for Privacy Awareness Week, as well as family violence training and CVD research GPs can sign up for.
MBS services for people with disability
RACGP members have reported instances of organisations advising people with disability that they can access a free MBS health assessment with a GP for screening purposes.
The college would like to remind members that Medicare benefits are only payable for clinically relevant services. The payment of Medicare benefits for ‘screening’ services, defined as a medical examination or test that is not reasonably required for the management of a patient’s medical condition, is prohibited. Refer to MBS Note GN.13.33 for more information.
MBS items 701, 703, 705 and 707 may be used to undertake a health assessment for various target groups, including annually for people with an intellectual disability. A person is considered to have an intellectual disability if they have significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning (two standard deviations below the average IQ) and would benefit from assistance with daily living activities. Refer to MBS Note AN.0.41 for further details.
Patients with other forms of disability would not qualify for an MBS health assessment; however, they may be able to access rebates for standard consultations under Medicare if the requirements of the relevant item descriptor are met.
Optimising cervical screening for people with disability
Webinar: Tuesday 21 May, 7.00–8.30 pm (AEST)
CPD: 1.5 hours EA
Regular screening is the best way to prevent cervical cancer, but many patients, including those with disability, face additional barriers in participating in cervical screening.
In this webinar presented in partnership with The Daffodil Centre and the Centre for Disability Studies, cervical cancer experts Professor Deborah Bateson and RACGP Board Chair Dr Lara Roeske, along with disability advocate Tricia Malowney, discuss ways in which GPs can best support screening for patients with disability. They’ll share practical strategies and techniques to facilitate screening, as well as tools and resources that can be built into practice to support equity.
Register online.
Privacy Awareness Week 
An initiative of the Office of the Australian Information Commission (OAIC), Privacy Awareness Week runs from 6–12 May. This year businesses and organisations are being asked to ‘power up your privacy’.
General practice has a fundamental role in protecting the privacy of patient health information. It’s essential for practices to be familiar and compliant with the current legislative framework for the management of health information. A key feature of privacy management in the technological age is maintaining robust security of systems.
The RACGP has developed a suite of resources designed to support practices in meeting legal obligations for information security and patient privacy:

More information about Privacy Awareness Week and OAIC privacy resources are available on the OAIC webpage.
Measuring your outcomes for disability
Webinar: Tuesday 14 May, 7.00 – 8.00 pm (AEST)
CPD: 1 EA hour
RACGP Specific Interests presents this webinar designed to assist GPs in achieving Measuring Outcomes CPD hours.
Associate Professor Robert Davis, Chair of RACGP Specific Interests Disability, will discuss simple and practical quality implementations to improve the health outcomes of patients living with disability.
Participants will also be guided through the RACGP’s Measuring Outcomes tool, demonstrating a straightforward and effective way of recording changes and improvements.
Register online.
Resources and recordings of other webinars in the ‘Measuring your outcomes’ series are available via gplearning and searching for ‘Measuring your outcomes with Specific Interests’.
Family Violence GP Education: ‘Dine and Discuss’ series
Webinar: Tuesday 7 May, 7.00–8.00 pm (AEST)
GPs can stay informed with the latest domestic violence headlines by joining the conversation with peers. Throughout the discussion, participants will be guided by experts to adopt techniques to support patients who may be experiencing a domestic violence situation.
Each month the RACGP will examine a case that has played out in the media.
This month’s upcoming session will dissect the case of Lee-Anne and the appalling abuse inflicted by disability support carers. Through guided discussion, gain insights and strategies to identify victims of domestic violence within this vulnerable population.
Register online.
Untangling the mysteries of visas
Webinar: Tuesday 14 May, 7.00–8.00 pm (AEST)
RACGP Victoria International Medical Graduate Committee members Dr Catherine Sloan and Dr Jenny Huang, alongside migration agent and visa expert Amanda Haylock, present an informative session to help attendees untangle the complexities of visas.
Register online.

Deakin University research survey
The DH4CVD research team at Deakin University’s IPAN study focuses on digital health awareness, availability, use, and willingness among cardiovascular disease (CVD) patients and their healthcare professionals, including GPs, nurse practitioners, dietitians, exercise physiologists, health administrators, and other allied health professionals involved in caring for patients with CVD.
As part of this study, GPs are invited to participate in a 10-minute survey. The insights gathered will significantly impact the role of digital health in CVD management in Australia.
Department of Veterans’ Affairs update
New information published in DVA Provider News relates to procedures for requesting medical compression garments.
Medical compression garments must be supplied through DVA contracted supplier arrangements, and this includes requests for off-contract or custom medical compression garments.
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