Medicare policy on nurse rebates still confusing

AMA president Associate Professor Brian Owler said today the latest advice from the Department of Health had "added more confusion rather than clarification" on the question of whether GPs can include nurses’ time in choosing the correct item number for timed health assessments.

GPs must be advised immediately and in plain English that they can continue including the nurse’s time, he said.

“The department advice says only that ‘a practice nurse may assist a GP with performing the health assessments’,” Professor Owler said.

“The AMA calls on the government to provide certainty to GPs about the processing of health assessment items. 

The AMA also suggested amending the advice issued on Wednesday so it reads: “The time spent by the GP and the practice nurse is one consideration but not the only consideration.”

A series of bungles by Medicare, starting with a supposed policy