Why home medication review cap needs a tweak

A group of regional pharmacists want the cap for home medication reviews (HMRs) raised in regional areas, arguing high-needs patients are missing out.

Outback Pharmacies Group says the rule – which caps the reviews at 20 per pharmacist per month - is preventing high-risk patients from accessing a proven prevention in places where there are not enough accredited pharmacists to meet demand.

They argue the rule should be tweaked as part of the current remuneration review.

The cap was introduced in 2014 following a $4.2 million cost blowout on the annual review budget, funded through the 5th Pharmacy Agreement, triggering claims some operators were rorting the system.

Pharmacists are paid $210.93 per review, and up to $125 extra as a rural loading.

A review involves counselling patients for about an hour on issues like lifestyle and drug