GP Network News, Issue 11, Number 42 - 28 October 2011
Following on from the Northern Territory last week, AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton met this week with GPs in several WA practices located within Medicare Local boundaries. Feedback was similar to that from GPs in States already visited, that there is an information vacuum about the role and structure of Medicare Locals.
Whilst in Perth the President met with WA Health Minister, Dr Kim Hames, to discuss a mixture of local and federal issues. Dr Hambleton also featured on ABC local radio talking about asylum seekers and Government cuts to GP mental health services. Indigenous health matters were also discussed following Dr Hambleton’s recent trip to Broome, where he met with the Kimberley Aboriginal Services Council. You can listen to the interview here or read the transcript here.
The AMA is pleased that the Senate Community Affairs References Committee report, released on Tuesday, found that the Professional Services Review (PSR) scheme should proceed, particularly in light of recent improvements made to certain operational aspects of the scheme. AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said that the AMA is a strong supporter of the PSR role as the final arbiter of clinical standards when there are concerns with the use of the MBS and the PBS. The principle of peer review is fundamental to the medical profession’s support of and trust in the PSR,... the report recognises and endorses the importance of peer review to the process and acknowledged the AMA’s contribution to improve the operations and processes of the PSR. The full press release is here.
In addition to the information kit prepared by the AMA recently for GPs to provide to patients to help them understand the impact of the 2011/12 Budget cuts on Medicare funding for GP mental health services, the AMA has prepared a waiting room poster. The poster is another useful resource for GPs to help inform patients that because of Government funding cuts, from November 1 it may cost them more to access mental health care services. The poster and the information kit are available here.
Diabetes Australia recently launched a position statement “A new language for diabetes: Improving communications with and about people with diabetes”. The paper aims to encourage greater awareness of the language surrounding diabetes and identify potential improvements. The paper offers an alternate vocabulary to assist in helping people with diabetes to achieve better health and lists recommendations for use in verbal and written communications. A link to the paper is here.
The AMA encourages medical practitioners to determine their own fees based on their own practice costs. To guide medical practitioners in determining their fees and to assist those considering moving from bulk billing to patient billing, the AMA provides members with tools and resources, which are available at http://ama.com.au/feeslist.
There is a checklist for those medical practitioners who have decided to move from bulk billing to patient billing and a template letter to explain to their patients why their fee is different to the Medicare rebate.
The AMA Gaps Poster illustrates why patients might have to pay a gap. The poster shows the effect of the difference between the indexation of Medicare Schedule fees and the Consumer Price Index and average weekly earnings. To download a A4 size poster that you may print please click here, or you can order a colour A3 size poster by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling on (02) 6270 5400.
We welcome your comments and suggestions as well. Please tell us what you think.
Our AMA Gold Credit Card saves you up to $170 per year, including:
^You must be a Qantas Frequent Flyer member to earn points. Points and membership are subject to the Terms and Conditions of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program available here. A joining fee applies. Exclusions and limitations apply.