Relief is in sight for GPs after the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) negotiated a short-term fix to recent assignment of benefit changes that created an administrative nightmare for GPs.
Following strong representations from RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins, the Department of Health has informed the College it will adapt digital assignment of benefit forms for GPs to complete for bulk billed telehealth consultations, so they better integrate into some general practice software. This change will enable the forms to be uploaded to medical software and pre-populated with patients’ details.
RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins applauded the Department of Health for responding to the College’s calls to reduce the administrative burden on GPs.
“I want to thank the Department of Health for listening to the RACGP and making this change – it means GPs will have more time to spend on patient care,” she said.
“The administrative and regulatory burden on GPs has been spiralling out of control. Four in five GPs identified keeping up with constantly changing administrative requirements as a challenge in the 2022 Health of the Nation report.
“The increasing administrative and regulatory burden is also impacting the sustainability of Aboriginal medical services.
“The RACGP will continue to work with the government and health department to lessen the administrative burden on Australia’s GPs and practice teams, so they can get on with the job of caring for patients and communities.”
The government has also acknowledged that the Health Insurance Act 1973 needs a suite of amendments to bring the requirements into the 21st century. The RACGP has been recognised as a critical partner for those discussions and will have a seat at the table.