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Medicare supports GPs in chronic disease management

01 December, 2009

Medicare Australia has released an advanced eLearning program to help health professionals understand their obligations when working with Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) chronic disease management items.

"Medicare and You – Chronic Disease Management for GPs will build knowledge by using case-based scenarios and interactive learning activities," Mark Jackson, general manager of Medicare Australia's Compliance and General Programs Division, said.

"The program is interactive, easy to use and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"As well as being a great way for GPs to refresh or extend their knowledge, the program can also be useful for practice staff."

The program covers MBS chronic disease management items for GP management plans, team care arrangements and allied health items 10950 to 10970.

"It will help GPs understand which patients are eligible, what’s involved in the preparation of GP management plans and team care arrangements, when to bill these items and when they can be billed in conjunction with an attendance item," Jackson said.

Last financial year, more than one million GP management plans and over 750,000 team care arrangements were prepared at a cost of $209 million.

"The release of these new eLearning programs forms part of our ongoing commitment to increasing education to combat non-compliance," Jackson said.

Medicare Australia's National Compliance Program has identified incorrect claiming for chronic disease management items as a potential risk.

The Director of Professional Services Review, Dr Tony Webber, has reported that there is increasing pressure on GPs to provide team care arrangements when it is not clinically relevant, so that ineligible patients can access allied health services through Medicare.

If a GP does so, this may constitute inappropriate practice, the consequences of which for the GP may include repayment of Medicare benefits or disqualification from billing under Medicare.

Medicare Australia has also recently added the Medicare and You – treatment for skin lesions eLearning program for GPs to its suite of online education services.

"Medicare and You – treatment for skin lesions will help GPs understand the Medicare requirements of size, location and histopathology for the payment of Medicare benefits," Jackson said.

Medicare Australia’s full range of education and support, including eLearning programs, are available at
Source: Medicare Australia

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