Government delivers PCEHR incentives for doctors

22 Aug 2012

Health Minister Tanya Plibersek tonight provided important policy clarity and greater incentives for GPs to become fully engaged more quickly with the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR).

The AMA is a strong supporter of a quality workable shared health summary and has been in discussions with the Minister and the Department of Health and Ageing for some time seeking further clarification on how GPs could confidently provide PCEHR services for patients under existing Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS) arrangements.

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said that the Government has listened to the AMA’s concerns and delivered an outcome that will encourage doctors to become actively involved in the implementation of the PCEHR.

“The Government has clarified that additional time spent by a GP on a shared health summary or an event summary during a consultation will count towards the total consultation time, and that the relevant time-based GP item can be billed accordingly,” Dr Hambleton said.

“The Minister has tonight fully explained how doctors can now safely and confidently provide new PCEHR clinical services such as a shared health summary under current MBS items.

“The Minister has also delayed the PCEHR e-health practice incentive payment (PIP) capability requirements until May2013.

“The AMA strongly welcomes both announcements.

“They will allow doctors more time to make the transition to the new e-health environment in their practices, and are a positive outcome from the ongoing discussions the AMA has had with the Minister’s office and the Department.”

Dr Hambleton said the shared health summary is a key feature of the PCEHR.

“The activity that is required to create and maintain a shared health summary is a new clinical service for doctors that will need to be factored into current clinical practice.  The work involved in creating an event summary will also have to be factored into clinical practice.

“These activities are clinically relevant services that will require extra work for the doctors who choose to provide them.

“Tonight’s announcements are significant incentives for doctors to take part.  The Government has delivered a catalyst to accelerate the implementation of the PCEHR.”


22 August 2012


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