Record keeping requirement for a health assessment (MBS items 701 - 715)

Record keeping requirement for a health assessment (MBS items 701715)

Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Health Assessment items 701 to 707 and the legal requirements to claim those items has recently been assessed.

No changes have been made to the regulations or the items descriptors for these health assessments. The existing legal requirements governing MBS items 701-715 are that a practice nurse may assist a GP with performing the health assessments.

Assistance by a practice nurse, such as collecting information and providing patients with information about recommended interventions, must be provided in accordance with accepted medical practice and under the supervision of the medical practitioner. The time spent by the GP is one consideration but not the only consideration.

For example, the item descriptors require consideration of how comprehensive the examination has been and whether preventive health advice or a health care management plan has been provided. GPs are expected to continue to use their judgement in deciding which Medicare item to claim for health assessments, taking into account the time spent with the patient, the level of complexity and any assistance provided by a practice nurse. In deciding which Medicare item is appropriate, the GP should be considering all these factors and identifying the most appropriate item.

Just as the health assessment item requirements have not changed, neither has the Government funding that is directed to general practices through the Practice Nurse Incentive Programme (PNIP) which supports an expanded and enhanced role for nurses working in general practice.

The PNIP provides up to $125 000 a year to eligible general practices to support practice nurses working in general practice to continue to undertake activities such as immunisation, wound management and cervical screening as well as a broad range of other activities. Under the PNIP arrangements, there is no capacity for practice nurses to provide services that attract a Medicare rebate.

This information has been taken from the Department of Health Services website. For more information please click here.