03 July 2024

RACGP welcomes reforms reducing admin burden on GPs

Australia’s peak GP body has welcomed the Senate passing reforms modernising the process for GPs to document patient consent for bulk billing benefits to be paid to their health provider. 

Under the old legislation, patients had to physically sign to consent for bulk billing benefits to be paid directly to their GP or other health provider. The Health Insurance Legislation Amendment (Assignment of Medicare Benefits) Bill 2024, which passed today, will enable a digital solution for documenting consent, and streamline the process. 

Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) President Dr Nicole Higgins welcomed the reforms. 

“I applaud Senators for acting on the RACGP’s calls for change and passing these reforms – it will give GPs more time to spend on patient care,” she said. 

“Removing the need for a physical signature will also make the process simpler and more convenient for patients, particularly those who are vulnerable. 

“Reducing the complexity of Medicare is a priority for RACGP advocacy. The regulatory burden on GPs is immense – our annual Health of the Nation report has found GPs are increasingly reporting the administrative workload and associated stress among their greatest concerns. 

“I look forward to continuing to work with the government to reduce the red tape and administrative burden on GPs and practice teams, so we have more time to spend caring for patients and communities.” 

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