Date: 11 October 2017
The RACGP provided a submission to the Department of Health (the Department) consultation on the proposed changes to the Health Insurance Act 1973, the National Health Act 1953 and the Dental Benefits Act 2008. These three Acts govern the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS), the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and the Child Dental Benefit Scheme. The proposed changes would affect:
- organisation billing, by allowing the Department of Health to investigate billing undertaken by practitioners and organisations
- compulsory offsetting, by offsetting a portion of future MBS payments against MBS debt for providers
- administration and recovery positions, by requiring documentation to substantiate that subsidised services were provided to a patient.
The RACGP was supportive of the majority of the changes that would impact GPs, but called for the Department to ensure that GPs are protected during billing investigations. The submission also recommended that privacy considerations are accounted for when collecting sensitive commercial information.