Chronic disease MBS item to stay

NURSES will still be able to claim Medicare funding to manage chronic disease patients under the new practice nurse block-funding incentive, the Federal Government has confirmed. 

The first meeting of the Nurse Incentive Program technical working group, held in December and attended by nursing and GP groups, was told not all nurse-specific Medicare items would be axed under the scheme.

A spokesperson for the Federal Department of Health and Ageing told Primary Care Nurse that the nurse-specific items to be replaced under the scheme were still being considered.

The scheme, to start in 2012, will pay practices $25,000 per full-time equivalent GP to employ a practice nurse, up to a limit of $125,000 per practice. 

Some GPs say they will be out of pocket as a result of the concomitant axing of nurse-specific MBS items under the scheme.

Brett McPherson, national president of the Australian Association of Practice Managers