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In the August 2016 Supervisor Survey, members indicated that they would like GPSA to provide more information on relevant government policy. Policy News attempts to address your identified need. Feedback welcome!

Pathology Rents

Pathology Australia, which claims to “represent private pathology in Australia” has tried to persuade the government that receiving rent from co-located pathology services is a breach of the Health Insurance Act by GP practices and an attempt to influence the referral patterns of GPs.

The government responded by announcing that it would put a ceiling on rental returns from such co-located services (seemingly in return for not withdrawing bulk-billing of a range of basic pathology items).

GP practices have responded strongly that this may make their businesses unaffordable, since the return on rent has been used to supplement the lost income incurred due to the Medicare freeze.

Do you have a view on this issue?

Let us know by emailing;

joan.burns@gpsupervisorsaustralia.org.au

PIP Changes

There is a current proposal out for consultation on a rationalization of the current 11 PIP incentives down to 5.

The paper proposes 2 broad options for how the system might work:

Option 1: payments would be merged into a single payment by DHH. Practices would receive a sign-on payment, choose their own areas of QI and data would automatically be extracted from the practice’s IT system and monitored over time for improvement.

Option 2: practices engage a 3rd party provider to support QI with funding going to the provider (e.g. a PHN or independent organization) who would pay the practice for participating.

With either option, practices would be required to submit data every month as well as commit to QI activities every month. Nationally consistent measures of quality would be used to guide improvement activities.

Do you have a view on these options?

Let us know by emailing;

joan.burns@gpsupervisorsaustralia.org.au

Submissions open until 30 November.

Revalidation

As mentioned in the September edition of ‘Policy News’, the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) released a Discussion Paper entitled “Options for revalidation in Australia” on 16 August 2016.

This was a hot topic of discussion at the recent round of GP conferences.

A strengthening of CPD requirements with the introduction of a new PLAN activity (planning learning and need) in the new triennium for the RACGP is evident.

The general feeling seems to be that the case for revalidation in Australia has not really been made, with GPs asking where is the evidence of the need for this system in Australia.

What are your thoughts on this issue?

Submissions open until 30 November.

Let us know by emailing;

joan.burns@gpsupervisorsaustralia.org.au

Data data data….

The Productivity Commission released a draft report entitled ‘Data Availability and its Use” in October.

The report recommends sweeping changes in relation to all sorts of data under a new Data Sharing and Release Act with new concepts such as a National Data Custodian, Accredited Release Authorities, Trusted Users and National Interest Datasets all operating within a new framework aimed at:

giving individuals more control over data held on them;

enabling broad access to datasets (public and private sector) that are of national interest;

increasing the usefulness of publicly funded identifiable data amongst Trusted Users; and

creating a culture in which non-personal and non-confidential data gets released by default for widespread use.

There are 27 draft recommendations for comment.

Here’s one to whet your appetite:

“All Australian governments entering into contracts with the private sector, which involve the creation of datasets in the course of delivering public services, should assess the strategic significance and public interest value of the data prior to contracting. Where data is assessed to be valuable, governments should retain the right to access or purchase that data in machine readable form and apply any analysis that is within the public interest.”

Get set for a big shake up in this area. And watch Policy News for further information.

Submissions are open until 12 December 2016 with public hearings in Melbourne (21 November) and Sydney (28 November).

If you would prefer to provide your comments on any of these issues over the phone, either identified or de-identified through GPSA, please contact:

Joan Burns, Senior Policy Advisor, GPSA

0472 520 611