Dept says sorry for MBS item confusion, but doubts remain
But the AMA’s plea – that GPs should be advised “immediately and in plain English” that they are allowed to include nurses’ time spent completing health assessments in claiming rebates – seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
In a statement emailed to MO overnight, a DHS spokesperson apologised for the confusion that has prevailed even after a backflip on a surprise policy decision to disallow the inclusion of nurses’ time under Medicare items 701–707.
The 30 June advice clearly stated that nurses’ time could no longer be included in rebates for the timed assessments under MBS items 701–707, a step that would make the assessments unviable in many cases.
The 2 July backflip said previous advice should be disregarded.
It said a nurse “may assist a GP with performing the health assessments” and the nurse’s assistance “must be provided in accordance