GPs demand e-health clarity

The AMA and RACGP have sought urgent clarification on a number of key questions but have each received different answers, some of which contradicted advice provided to MO by the health department last week.

AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton said the government had made it clear it had not budgeted any new money to compensate GPs for the time spent working on the new records, but every other answer was “the same double-talk”.

“You can’t see the mirrors for the smoke,” Dr Hambleton said.

The confusion centres on whether a GP can bill a Level B, C or D item number for a consultation that only involves creation of a shared health summary, and whether a longer item can be billed if the e-health record work extends a consultation time.

Following the minister’s initial announcement, Dr Hambleton told MO that departmental advice he had received indicated that the MBS descriptors would not be changed, meaning GPs