Govt backflip on MBS claiming for nurses

The backflip came in response to a storm of protest by doctors, nurses and practice managers after the position was revealed on an obscure Medicare website on Monday.

GPs and managers were outraged, saying they would have to dismiss practice nurses who played a key part in their business plans and warning the move would have a serious impact on community health, especially for the elderly.

The reversal is as low key as the original statement, posted overnight on Medicare’s Health Professional News page, operated by the Department of Human Services.

While the post claims there is no change in regulations governing the MBS health assessment items concerned, the shift in interpretation is clear. 

It says: “The existing legal requirements governing MBS items 701–715 are that a practice nurse