Practice nurse role in health assessments to stay

Doctors also welcomed the speed of the reversal after the abrupt announcement on 30 June that GPs could no longer claim nurses’ contributions to timed health assessments under MBS items 701–707.

The MBS items in question – including checks for four-year-olds, midlife patients at risk of chronic disease and certain other patient groups – amounted to benefits of $133 million in the 2012–13 financial year. 

The sum included $57 million spent on item 707 assessments of 60 minutes or more for the 75-plus age group, who are entitled to annual health assessments. 

Health checks for Indigenous people, which cost some $25 million in the year under MBS item 715, were not affected by what was originally referred to as a policy "correction".

The Department of Human Services dropped the cost-cutting measure on 2 July after loud protests from doctors and nurses groups who complained it would destroy the care model