In Practice: New MBS items

Morgan Liotta

21/10/2021 1:28:44 PM

Also gain an insight into financially strengthening general practices, new prostate cancer screening processes and childhood disorders.

Medicare card.
A number of changes to the MBS will come into effect from 1 November.

This week’s In Practice round up includes a summary of soon-to-be available MBS items, upcoming educational webinars and podcasts, and updates on prostate cancer screening for GPs.
New MBS items from 1 November
Two new Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items will come into effect from next month.
Point-of-care testing
MBS item 73812 will be introduced for glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) point-of-care testing.
This service can be provided by or on behalf of a medical practitioner who works in a general practice that is accredited against the point-of-care testing accreditation module under the National General Practice Accreditation Scheme. The scheme is administered by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.
The service may be claimed a maximum of three times per patient in a 12-month period. It may not be claimed by a patient if a total of four other HbA1c testing items (laboratory or point-of-care testing) have already been provided to the patient in the last 12 months.
An equivalent item (73826) is also being introduced for nurse practitioners working in an eligible general practice.
More information about the new item for medical practitioners is available in the relevant legislation.
Diagnosis of hypertension through ambulatory blood pressure monitoring
MBS item 11607 will be introduced for diagnosis of hypertension through ambulatory blood pressure monitoring for people with suspected hypertension (high blood pressure).
The purpose of the service is to monitor a patient’s blood pressure continuously over 24 hours via a wearable device to diagnose if they are hypertensive or not.
The service includes the fitting of the device, analysis of the data, generation of a report and development of a treatment plan and all consultations associated with the service. Although this service is intended primarily for use by GPs, it is available to all medical practitioners.
More information is available in the MBS fact sheet and quick reference guide.
Other changes to the MBS
A number of other changes to the MBS will be introduced from 1 November, including: 

  • new MBS items for eligible allied health practitioners participating in multidisciplinary case conferences with medical practitioners
  • aligning MBS varicose vein items with contemporary clinical practice.
An overview of all the upcoming MBS changes can be found on MBS Online. Several fact sheets  providing further detail are also available.
The RACGP’s MBS online tool helps GPs to keep on top of MBS items and custom-build a list of items to use in their practice. The tool will be updated on 1 November to reflect the changes being implemented and ensure GPs have access to the most up-to-date item descriptors and rebates.
The Good GP: Familial hypercholesterolemia
In this episode of The Good GP podcast, Winthrop Professor Gerald Watts discusses familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), covering the prevalence of FH and screening methods involved.
This podcast also explores the risks of non-diagnosis and non-treatment, the importance of early detection, when to refer and what else GPs can do to help.
The Good GP podcast is available to listen to online.
To learn more about FH, a video series has been developed by Professor Tom Brett, Director of the General Practice and Primary Health Care Research Unit at the University of Notre Dame Australia’s School of Medicine.
Disruptive disorders in childhood
Webinar: Thursday 4 November, 8.00 – 9.00 pm (AEDT)
This webinar will provide an overview of disruptive disorders in childhood, including management of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD).
These disorders will be explored with a particular focus given to the challenges these settings provide and some practical tips that can be applied in regards to diagnosis, evaluation, treatment and management pathways.
Register online.
Have your say on mental health and general practice
The General Practice Mental Health Standards Collaboration (GPMHSC) has invited a selection of GPs to complete a short 10-minute survey on mental health and general practice.
GP feedback will help the GPMHSC understand the different attitudes towards, and views on, the uptake of mental health training, as well as the use of relevant MBS item numbers. The information collected from the survey will also assist the GPMHSC to advocate on policy development and reform for general practice and mental health care.
Selected GPs have received an email inviting them to complete the survey. For further information, the GPMHSC can be contacted on 03 8699 0554 or
Gambling harm awareness training for GPs
Webinar: Tuesday 26 October, 7.00–8.30 pm (AEDT)
GPs play an important role in identifying people with gambling problems and can refer them to available resources. This educational webinar aims to improve the awareness of gambling harm and arm GPs with the resources and solutions to help those in need.
The webinar will upskill GPs in managing and treating patients experiencing gambling harm.
Although applicable on a national scale, the content of the webinar will focus primarily on resources and services available in New South Wales.
Held during GambleAware Week, an annual initiative to increase the awareness of gambling and gambling harm in the NSW community, this webinar aims to start a conversation – whether that be someone talking about their own gambling or having people start conversations with someone they think may be impacted by gambling, fitting with the 2021 campaign theme of ‘Let’s Talk Gambling’.
Register online.
Prostate cancer diagnosis and early management: An update for GPs
Webinar: Thursday 28 October, 7.00 pm (AEDT)
Hosted by Pathology Awareness Australia, this webinar features tailored content for GPs, featuring expert speakers Associate Professor Ken Sikaris, chemical pathologist, and Professor Mark Frydenburg, urologist.

The webinar will feature:
  • an overview and update on prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing as a screening tool for prostate cancer
  • the latest PSA testing guidelines and advice from the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia
  • the use of MRI for diagnostic purposes and to reduce unnecessary biopsies
  • transperineal versus transrectal biopsies
  • active surveillance and watchful waiting
  • a Q&A for attendees.
Register online.
Practice Experience Program
Applications are now open for the Practice Experience Program (PEP) for non-vocationally registered doctors who plan to sit the RACGP Fellowship exams.
From January 2022, rules around exam eligibility are changing and only those on an RACGP-approved program or those who have satisfactorily completed the PEP will remain eligible to sit.
Under the current Federal Government funding scheme there are only two more application periods remaining:
  • 4–25 October 2021 − program start date 1 April 2022, program end date 31 March 2023
  • 10 January – 1 February 2022 − program start date 1 July 2022, program end date 30 June 2023
More information is available on the RACGP website.
Applications open for the RACGP Future Leaders Program
The Future Leaders Program is designed to give RACGP Fellows the confidence to lead change in their community, through helping to develop leadership skills, identify strengths, guide strategic thinking and produce beneficial change for the health community.
Further information is available on the RACGP website, where GPs can also apply for the 2022 program.
More spaces available for AOD Treatment Skills Training
The Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) GP Education Program − Treatment Skills Training is a practical course focusing on consultation skills and AOD clinical knowledge, designed to enhance GPs’ ability to talk about alcohol and drug use with their patients.
The training aims to provide busy GPs with practical tips that can be incorporated into practice.
A $1200 grant payment will be awarded on completion of training.
More information and to apply is available on the RACGP website.
Strengthening the financial position of your practice
This on-demand webinar highlights how the economics of running a practice has shifted amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Closely examining the allocation of elevated technology budgets, the success of telehealth and the operational and financial impact of the ongoing vaccination program, the session will also hear from patients about their practice experience.
Join Caitlin Wilson, CommBank Health, and Chris Smeed, Cubiko CEO, to gain insight into the latest trends from the fourth edition of CommBank’s GP Insights Report, see how practices compare and understand the strategies that can help practices succeed financially.

On-demand recording available on the RACGP website.
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