Provide nurse details or miss out on payments

From 1 January, MBS items for practice nurses doing immunisation, cervical smears and wound treatment were replaced by a block payment of up to $25,000 annually per nurse for up to five nurses in a Government attempt to simplify the system.

With large practices employing higher numbers of nurses having complained they would be worse off under the $125,000 cap Medicare is to pay the difference for the first three years under the new system provided affected practices apply for the payments by 30 June 2012.

“After this date no applications will be accepted,” a Medicare spokesperson told MO.

The spokesperson said that although the block Practice Nurse Incentive Payment (PNIP) was capped, there was no such cap for the top-up payment meaning no accredited practice would be financially worse off.

Dr Graham Wildman, who has a large general practice in South Australia, said that while he expected to be reimbursed in the medium