60 cent MBS rebate increase ‘fails to reflect consult value’
The MBS rebate rise of only 60 cents for a Level B consultation has left GPs disappointed by the Federal Government’s failure to match MBS rebates to changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
The overall Medicare fee has increased just 1.8%, significantly less than the CPI increase of 2.9 per cent.
In response the AMA has released its own list of fees, and has recommended practices charge $66 for a Level B consultation – which is just $1 more than is usually charged by the Revive chain of nurse practitioner-led clinics for a standard “Get Well Service” consultation.
While NPs will be able to access Medicare rebates as of 1 November, Revive managing director Louise Stewart has stated Revive will not shift to a bulk-billing model.
Under the latest changes GPs will now receive $34.90 for a Level B consultation, up 60 cents, and $67.65 for a Level C consultation, up $1.20.
AMA president Dr Andrew Pesce said the fees were an “unintended insult” to GPs.
“Each year the indexation is incrementally less and less and is leading to complete failure of the MBS rebate to reflect the value of a consultation,” he said.
The AMA has recommended $66 for a Level B and $122 for a Level C.
Meanwhile, Ms Stewart said the MBS rebates on offer for nurse practitioners were too low for Revive to begin bulk-billing, as they would not cover service costs.
Practice management consultant David Dahm said practices should follow Revive’s lead, noting the latest indexation was further evidence that they could not rely solely on the MBS to cover their costs.
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