GPs still being told to stop claiming nurses’ time

Doctors calling Medicare’s item interpretation hotline have had the bad news spelled out in the clearest possible terms, complete with examples, that they could not bill for practice nurses’ time spent on health assessments.  

The AMA received assurances from the health department nearly two weeks ago that a clear statement would be drawn up “within days” that would endorse practice nurses’ contributions to timed health assessments under Medicare items 701–707.  

But no statement has appeared and GPs have contacted MO saying they were given the opposite story when they rang the Medicare hotline to double check.

A Sydney GP who called the hotline about 4.30pm on Friday said the adviser showed no uncertainty in telling her a nurse’s time could not be included and backed the advice with a case study.

“He said if the GP spent 30 minutes and the nurse spent 20 minutes, you could

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