Allied Health Services
The AACP is striving to correct the anomaly whereby patients are not eligible for MBS reimbursement for allied health services following attendance for consultation or review under MBS Items 132 and 133 and where they have been referred direct to the allied health provider (although patients are eligible for benefits after MBS Items 110 and 116).
Geriatric Assessment Items
Members will be aware that the AACP is continuing to push for expanded access to the geriatric assessment items for those consultant physicians who provide the required geriatric assessment services, particularly in rural settings where there is very limited access to specialist geriatricians. Again, this is an anomaly where patients of general consultant physicians are not eligible for this rebate, even though the assessment services are the same. The AACP is continuing to press for a change of approach in relation to access to this item.
Medicare items for longer initial and review consultations
Currently there is provision for longer consultations for both geriatric and psychiatric assessment. However, there are other situations where patients of consultant physicians and paediatricians require significantly longer consultations than currently available under items 132 and 133. The AACP is pursuing the introduction of new items for prolonged consultation and review consultations for patients with complex and chronic diseases whose care demands complex coordination and management - this includes geriatric patients (as noted above) but there is also a strong case for paediatric patients.