GP Network News, Issue 13 Number 26
Dr Brian Morton, Chair AMACGP
The Australian Medical Council has written to the AMA seeking comment on the education and training pathways and continuing professional development programs in general practice, provided by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).
The AMA’s Council of General Practice is currently considering a range of questions posed by the AMC in relation to opportunity to contribute to the development and evaluation of training programs, what gaps in training there might be, and suggestions for improvement. The AMA Council of Doctors in Training is considering issues regarding training pathways, curriculum content, teaching methods utilised and educational resources available.
Red tape reduction - Budget measure you may have missed
Following AMA’s advocacy on red tape reduction and problems experienced by GPs and specialists using the Pay Doctor Cheque Scheme, the AMA notes that from 1 July 2014, cheques will be replaced with direct EFT payments to the doctor's account. This is welcome news to these doctors as it will further streamline their payment processes. Currently if cheques are not banked in 90 days, the payment is automatically made to the doctors nominated bank account. Once this budget measure is implemented doctors will be paid in half the time and it will help reduce doctors expenses in chasing up unpaid accounts and write-offs due to occasions where cheques were banked in error rather than forwarded on to the doctor.
AMA President to speak at National Press Club
AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, will speak at the National Press Club on 17 July, as part of the AMA’s celebration of Family Doctor Week. Dr Hambleton’s speech will highlight the most important national health issues, as he launches the AMA’s 2013 Federal Election document.
The 1 July edition of Australian Medicine, the national news publication of the AMA, is now available. This edition includes the latest developments in the Scrap the Cap campaign to abolish the $2000 cap on tax deductions for self-education expenses, as well as the wash up of a tumultuous couple of weeks in federal politics. More than 40 pages of medical news, views and analysis can be viewed online, or downloaded.
Latest update: over 8600 doctors have signed the Scrap the Cap petition – have you?
Three new immunisation requirements for government payments
As of 1 July 2013, child immunisation requirements to receive the Family Tax Benefit Part A supplement and Australian Government childcare payments have been expanded to include the meningococcal C, pneumococcal and varicella vaccines. The varicella vaccine will be included in a new combination shot (MMRV), given at 18 months.
The list of diseases a child must be immunised against in order to be up-to-date with immunisation can be found here on the Department of Human Services website.
Use of HPOS growing but awareness could be improved
Data recently presented to the AMA as a member of the HPOS Sub-committee shows that use of the Department of Human Services' Health Professional Online Service (HPOS) is growing but that overall awareness of the service amongst practitioners could be improved.
GPs and practice managers are reminded that HPOS provides a single entry point for a wide range of services. Logging on with a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) individual certificate gives access to the full range of information and services available through HPOS, including Patient Verification, Medicare services including Easyclaim processing and payment reports, DVA CVC Patient Treatment Reports, Healthcare Identifiers, the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register, Prescription Shopping Information Program, Practice Incentive Programs registration and many other facilities.
In March this year the MBS Online Checker was enhanced with the addition of 90 more MBS items. This service supports health professionals when submitting Medicare claims by allowing them to see if a restricted item has already been claimed, reducing rejected claims.
Also since March 2013, health professionals have been able to register for the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record through HPOS.
Do your patients have questions about the PCEHR?
GPs and practice managers are advised that enquiries from their patients about the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) can be directed to the government enquiry line 1800 723 471 or the website.
Feedback and complaints about PCEHR can be directed to the Department of Human Services Customer Information Feedback and Complaints line on 1800 132 468.
Participation in the PCEHR system is not mandatory for patients or doctors. If participation in PCEHR or cost issues arise, patients can be advised that:
Government report on dementia – Thinking Ahead
On Monday 24 June 2013, the Standing Committee on Health and Ageing tabled its report on the Inquiry into Dementia: Early Diagnosis and Intervention, entitled Thinking Ahead. The inquiry was undertaken to help plan for the projected tripling in the number of Australians living with dementia, to around 900,000, by 2050.
Among the 17 recommendations, the report calls for a national evidence-based dementia training program for GPs, to improve the country’s rates of early diagnosis and intervention. The report also recommends a review of MBS items, the introduction of practice guidelines for dementia care in primary settings, the establishment of clear and streamlined local referral pathways for dementia diagnosis, treatment and support, and a public awareness campaign.
Latest update on Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus
The very latest information and advice regarding the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERs) coronavirus is online.
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