More information on Health Assessment statement

More information on Health Assessment statement

APNA members and general practice professionals around Australia were stunned last week by the announcement by previous advice that, "the time spent by nurses contributing to health assessments could be included with the medical practitioners time when choosing the time-based item to bill" was incorrect and, with immediate effect, only the time the billing medical practitioner spends with the patient would determine the choice of item number.

APNA acted quickly, notifying members who hadn't seen the Medicare alert, writing to the Federal Health Minister, Peter Dutton, and raising our strong concerns in a meeting with the Department of Health.

The change in interpretation immediately and significantly undermined the ability of nurses working in general practice to provide high quality preventive care and reduced access for patients.

APNA was assured no change has been made to the regulations or the items for health assessments and a clarification was made to the information on the Medicare website.

Primary Care Support Officers (PCSOs) at NSML have been busy responding to correspondence from nurses working in GP practice. The government announcement last week, relating to changing advice around Health assessments and practice nurses has caused quite a stir. Thankfully key professional associations have been quick to highlight relevant concerns to the Health Minister.

NSML has been keeping primary care nurses informed of progress updates from the key bodies. Despite assurances of business as usual some people are more confused than ever and have requested further clarification. NSML will continue to support practices in area with up to date correspondence as it becomes available.

The RACGP have information on their website regarding the Health Assessment statement issued from Medicare last week, it reads:

Following confusion over a statement issued by Medicare late last week, the RACGP can confirm there will be no changes to the Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) item numbers 701715 for general practice nurses contributing to health assessments.

To read the full explanation please click here.

Thank you to everyone who responded and to read the full RACGP article,please click here.

For more information please contact your Primary Care Support Team at or phone 9477 8700.
More information on Health Assessment statement