If you want to know why you have trouble interpreting the MBS (Medicare Benefits Schedule), here is why you cannot get a straight answer- the answer is nobody knows. It is time this issue was fixed, so we need to hear from you, regardless of whether you are a doctor or a practice manager.
As you may have read or heard, we were involved in one of the most important news stories of the year. We got involved because over the past few decades we have been concerned about the lack of openness and transparency in the way practitioners and practices are educated as to how they should be billing under the Medicare Benefit Schedule, and in the lack of written commonly agreed clinically relevant guidelines for practitioners, which can result in practitioners being prosecuted for alleged billing irregularities.
Medicare’s current position is…
But clinical research into what the commonly agreed accepted guidelines reveal that none actually exist or there are significant problems with the current approach. see British Medical Journal of Australia, Volume 7, Issue 10, STANDING Collaboration: a study protocol for developing clinical standards
So is it fair to prosecute doctors for not getting in right when the system does not work? Japan is the only country we have found so far that has national commonly agreed clinical guidelines, so it is indeed possible.
Professor Bill Runciman who endorses our efforts to establish an international healthcare standards and ethics board, which would set guidelines, makes the following conclusion, which has significant financial and medico-legal implications.
In 2011 a Federal Senate Professional Service Review hearing (which were involved with) was held to look into the issue but nothing has come of it and nothing has been done since.
Consequently today we are saddled with many bullying, intimidation, unfair and unethical practices. Patients are getting unnecessarily hurt and a lot of money is being wasted. In fact, there is a simple solution, one that seems to have so far have missed by national clinical leaders and the medical profession.
Since it affects your health, we want to open this debate up to the you as practitioners, and to taxpayers and the general public to decide how practitioners provide care to you. Please let your local member of Parliament know and share this information.
Watch these three videos for an in-depth understanding of what the problem is and how you can solve it.
This video shows that practice managers at a national practice manager conference earlier this year, have (nearly unanimously) indicated there is an ongoing and serious problem see Practice Managers expressing MBS item number concern video.
Please complete this five-minute survey – the best response will receive a bottle wine! We will forward this information to the Health Minister.