Federal court rules PSR invalid

THE Medicare compliance process has been thrown into disarray, following a landmark Federal Court decision that has found PSR rulings from 2005 onwards to be invalid.

The court found in favour of a group of four GPs who had challenged PSR findings against them, judging the watchdog’s rulings were not legally valid on the grounds that some of its panel members were improperly appointed. Under the Health Insurance Act 1973, appointments to these panels must be done so in consultation with the AMA. This had not happened since 2005.

It is was unknown at the time of press whether the quashing of the cases of Drs Robert Clarke, Paul Condoleon, Ali Kutlu and Il-Song Lee would set a precedent that would nullify any other previous rulings by the PSR. It was also yet to be established whether practitioners forced to repay MBS benefits to Medicare since 2005 as the result of PSR panel hearings would be compensated.

PSR director Dr Tony Webber was