MBS to be reformed by mid ’09
THE RUDD Government is unveiling plans to slash red tape from billing processes, rationalise item numbers and ease the administrative burden on general practice by July next year.
Under MBS reform plans just announced by health minister Nicola Roxon (pictured), items for health checks, chronic disease management and multidisciplinary case conferencing will be consolidated. Item descriptors for Level C and D consultations will also be reworked to encourage GPs to spend more time with patients.
These are the first tangible movements on MBS reform since 2003, when the Medicare Attendance Item Restructure Working Group recommended a shift towards a seven-tier claiming system.
Reform measures are expected to be finalised in March and implemented in July.
Further MBS reform will be considered in light of the National Primary Health Care Strategy, a draft of which is expected in mid-2009.
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