AMA rejects Government plan to link GP incentive payments to the MyHealth Record

15 Oct 2015

In a submission to the Department of Health, the AMA has rejected a Government plan to link general practice Practice Incentive Program (PIP) e-Health Incentive payments to the adoption of the MyHealth Record (MyHR) by GPs.

AMA President, Professor Brian Owler, said today that the Government proposal was poorly thought out and premature.

“Until now, the PIP e-health incentive has focused on building the capacity of practices to embrace various e-Health technologies to enhance the efficiency of patient care,” Professor Owler said.

“The MyHealth Record is not at a stage where it can be adopted by practices, so it should not be linked to the PIP scheme.

“There are fundamental issues with the design of the MyHR that are yet to be fully addressed.”

Problems with the current version of the MyHR include:

  • patients can remove information from view, making the clinical record potentially incomplete and of no clinical value;
  • clinicians viewing the record are unaware if information has been removed from view;
  • radiology or pathology results are yet to be made available to the MyHR;
  • shared health summaries (SHSs) are static documents and quickly out of date;
  • inaccurate data uploads present clinical risks; and
  • most patients (up to 90 per cent) don’t have a MyHR, and are unlikely to get one under ‘opt-in’ arrangements;
  • ‘opt-out’ trials are yet to be conducted; and
  • other medical specialists are not being supported to engage with the MyHR.

“Until the problems with the MyHR have been rectified, so that it is easy to use and offers real clinical benefits for patients, it is unreasonable to expect GPs to actively use it,” Professor Owler said.

“The AMA has been a strong advocate for a well-designed and governed e-Health record, which can deliver real benefits for patients, but the current MyHR model has well-known flaws that must be fixed.”

The AMA’s submission recommends that the Government’s primary focus should be on making the necessary improvements to the MyHR, not using existing funding arrangements to try and force GPs to use a system that is cumbersome.

The AMA also recommends that, once the system is fit for purpose,  the Government consider an MBS item number and Service Incentive Payment be introduced to promote the use of the MyHR.

Revised eligibility requirements for the e-Health Incentive are due to be announced in November 2015, and to commence from 1 February 2016.

The AMA submission is at https://ama.com.au/submission/ama-submission-proposed-changes-pip-ehealth-incentive

 


15 October 2015

CONTACT:        John Flannery                     02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761