GP Network News, Issue 13 Number 13

5 Apr 2013

Dr Brian Morton, Chair AMACGP

Reminder: PIP eHealth incentive - PCEHR requirement commences from 1 May

If your practice is participating in the PIP eHealth incentive it must meet the requirement, under Medicare PIP eHealth Incentive Guidelines (February 2013), for accessing the PCEHR system to continue being eligible for the incentive from 1 May 2013. Under this requirement the practice must:

(i) use compliant software for accessing the personally controlled electronic health (eHealth) record system, and creating and posting shared health summaries and when available, event summaries, and

(ii) apply to participate in the eHealth record system upon obtaining a HPI–O.

From 1 May 2013, where a practice has applied for, but not obtained their HPI-O in accordance with requirement 1 for the PIP incentive, they must meet requirement 5 within four weeks of receiving their HPI–O.

Links to information and websites on the PCEHR requirement, including information about compliant software, are available through the AMA PIP eHealth and PCEHR Checklist. See PIP Requirement: R5 PCEHR.

NPS Health Practitioner Class (general practitioner) Director nominations invited

AMA GP members are invited to nominate to a Health Practitioner Class Director (general practitioner) position on the National Prescribing Service (NPS) Board of Directors.

The NPS is an independent, non-for-profit and evidence based organisation for quality use of medicines and medical tests. Click here for further information about the NPS.

Directors are responsible for the governance of the organisation and are accountable to the NPS' membership. This requires a good working knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of a company director and of the Board generally. The Board is seeking candidates for directorship who are collaborative and consultative, promote organisational outcomes, are strategic decision-makers, and demonstrate integrity, leadership, passion and commitment, adaptability and business acumen.

In applying for this position, it is important to consider whether you have the capacity in terms of time commitment to fulfill the requirements of the role. The Director's remuneration of $29,639.77 per annum provides for attendance at meetings throughout the year, spread over approximately 14 days. Travel expenses are met by the NPS. Additional remuneration may be sought for Director's work outside these meetings. Further details of the remuneration package and time commitment are provided in the NPS Guide for Director Applicants.

The AMA Federal Executive Council will select AMA nominees from applicants. Their details will then be forwarded to the NPS to undergo its selection process, which is expected to take 2-3 months to complete.

To obtain further relevant documentation, including the NPS Guide for Director Applicants, please contact Melanie Ford at

To nominate, please forward a completed Application Form and current curriculum vitae to  by Monday, 22 April 2013. If you have any questions, please contact Georgia Morris on 02 6270 5466.

Revised online education tools to help GPs bill for skin lesion removal

Inappropriate billing of Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items for skin flap repairs and the removal of skin lesions is often an area of focus for the Department of Human Services Compliance Program. When auditing these items the DHS is looking to ensure that the service provided is covered by the item that was billed. The AMA some years ago encouraged Medicare Australia to develop information to assist medical practitioners correctly bill skin flap repairs and removal of skin lesions. The resources available include quick reference guides, including a flow chart, and an e-learning module.  These are available from the following links:

  1. Fact sheet to help GPs correctly claim Medicare items for the excision and biopsy of skin lesions (30071, 31200 to 31335); 
  2. elearning module on treatment for skin lesions; and 
  3. skin lesion removal flowchart.

Billing accurately under Medicare – letter to doctors

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is concerned that in many medical practices, the billing of MBS items is largely performed by practice staff without reference to the doctor actually providing the service. GPs are advised that the DHS will be writing throughout 2013 to every practitioner with a Medicare provider number to remind them about their legal responsibilities and accountabilities as eligible health practitioners when billing MBS items under their Medicare provider number or in their name.

The letter directs practitioners to for more information on billing responsibilities.

The AMA is working with DHS on the various MBS compliance education programs to ensure compliant billing, and on its audit programs.

We welcome your comments and suggestions as well. Please tell us what you think.

Australia's Health System: What's the treatment?
Friday 24 – Sunday 26 May 2013 at The Westin, Sydney

We urge grassroots doctors to join our delegates to help us send strong signals to the Government and the Opposition about what needs to be done to strengthen our health system and make it more efficient.


Policy discussion topics will include:

  • The Politics of Health
  • Speakers: Dr Jeremy Sammut, John Della Bosca, Mark Textor, Sue Dunlevy and Sophie Scott
  • A Market Economy for Health
  • Speakers: Dr Brian Morton, Rohan Mead and Prof Just Stoelwinder
  • Finding Ways to provide the Best Possible End of Life Care
  • Speakers: Prof Michael Ashby and Dr Peter Saul
  • Revalidation
  • Speakers: Prof Ron Paterson, Prof Sheila the Baroness Hollins and Dr Joanna Flynn
  • Health Has a Postcode
  • Speakers: Prof Victor Nossar and Dr Harald Klein

The conference offers valuable networking opportunities at a range of popular social functions including the social highlight - the Gala Dinner, to be held in the Westin's Ballrooms.

For information on how attending the National Conference can contribute to your CPD (RACGP and ACRRM members) please see the CPD information pages.

In this issue:

AMA is the peak medical organisation in Australia representing the profession’s interests to Government and the wider community. Your Federal AMA General Practice Policy team can be contacted via email or by phone (02) 6270 5400. You can unsubscribe from GPNN by emailing