Bill to exempt dentists from PSR investigation

The proposed Health Insurance (Dental Services) Bill 2012 would require the health minister to waive the repayment of up to $21.6 million in Medicare benefits incorrectly claimed by dentists under the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme.

The bill has the support of the Australian Dental Association, which claimed in a submission to the inquiry dentists had been given inconsistent advice by Medicare as to the administrative requirements of the scheme and not warned of the penalties for non-compliance.

But the AMA claimed in its own submission the bill would create a two-tier system in which GPs and other doctors were subject to Medicare’s legal requirements but dentists were not.

“All health practitioners whose services attract Medicare benefits should be subject to the regulatory requirements of the Medicare benefits arrangements,” the AMA argued in its submission.

“We do not consider it appropriate that dentists can use