Behind the news - 10 April 2012

HEALTH Minister Tanya Plibersek certainly caught the attention of Australian GPs recently when she announced MBS rebates would be available to cover the cost of creating health summaries for the coming PCEHR.

Remuneration, or the lack of it, for GPs acting as nominated providers under the new system with responsibility for creating and curating a patient’s health summary has been a burning issue for supporters and critics of the system alike.

And while the minister’s announcement was welcomed by the RACGP and the AGPN, the AMA and readers of MO online made it clear they were far from convinced.

At issue is the question of whether a GP undertaking a straightforward consultation normally billed as a Level B would be justified in billing a Level C to cover the time taken to create or update the summary.

Although the minister and a health department spokesperson maintained GPs would exercise their judgement about what they were