Thursday, March 29, 2012
Join The Dots - We Are Not In Kansas Anymore. The Game Has Totally Changed!
We will look back on yesterday’s speech from the Federal Health Minister as a watershed I suspect.
The reactions to date have been quite interesting.
We have the RACGP pretty happy.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) warmly welcomes the government’s announcement today that funding will be available to recognise GPs who act as nominated healthcare providers when the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records (PCEHR) roll out from 1 July 2012.
RACGP President, Professor Claire Jackson, said she was very pleased with this outcome and thanked the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister of Health, for listening to the profession on this critical issue.
“While some of the details still need to be further discussed, I am delighted that MBS consultation items will be available to GPs if they are adding a shared health summary to the patient's PCEHR, which involves taking a patient’s medical history as part of a consultation.
“The PCEHR has the potential to transform Australia’s health system and to make it work better, safer and more efficiently.
and the AMA rather less than impressed.
28 March 2012 - 1:00pm
AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said today that the Health Minister’s announcement about Medicare rebates for preparing shared health summaries for the personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) raises more questions than answers.
Dr Hambleton said it is still unclear whether Medicare rebates will be available for this new clinical service that GPs are being asked to provide for their patients.
“The Government has acknowledged that preparing shared health summaries with patients will require considerable extra work for GPs, but there is no clarity that the longer consultation items will apply to cover this extra work,” Dr Hambleton said.
“For example, if preparing a shared health summary as part of a standard 20 minute (Level B) consultation stretches it out to 30 minutes, will the longer Level C item apply?
“Similarly, if the more complex Level C consultation stretches out to more than 40 minutes, will the Level D item apply?
“Will the Government be providing specific new Medicare rebates for this extra work?
“There is absolutely no clarity from today’s announcement that GPs will be properly funded and supported by the Government to assist patients obtain the benefits promised by the PCEHR.
Payments aside it is important to note 2 things.
First the Minister gives a major e-Health speech and does not mention NEHTA or the PCEHR except by inference.
Second - on ABC Radio’s AM this morning - we have the Treasurer saying programs will be cut or scaled back all over to get to a budget surplus.
The proof of the pudding will indeed be in the eating - and the funding of e-Health going forward in the May Budget will tell us all we need to know.
I suspect we at a similar moment to the time under the Howard Government when Minister Abbott suddenly changed the HealthConnect Program into “a change management strategy” some decade ago.
The more things change the more they stay the same as they say!
We need a new plan and a new forward direction outlined - and soon. It is clear the old one has now changed big time.
Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Thursday, March 29, 2012