MBS Review - NP Group Recommendations

The Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce Report from the Nurse Practitioner Reference Group (NPRG) has been released, with 14 detailed recommendations.  This report will now be considered by the MBS Taskforce, and released to Stakeholder consultation, which includes the ACNP.  Following that, the taskforce can make recommendations to the Minister. 

What we hope to achieve from the current MBS review is significant increase in access to Nurse Practitioners services for the Australian public.  This will assist the development of more roles in the Private sector, and more Nurse Practitioners will be able to work towards addressing the gaps in health services, and the health of our community.

The ACNP is pleased that the changes outlines within the 14 recommendations will also lead to significant growth in Nurse Practitioner numbers in Australia, especially in areas of need, and a more sustainable workforce.

The ACNP has been heartened by the large number of responses to our sharing of the "MBS Report from the NP Reference Group".  You can access the full report from the MBS Review - NP Reference Group here.

 

View the ACNP MBS Review Media Release

Please click below to listen to radio interviews conducted with ACNP President, Leanne Boase:

Please click below to watch the TV interview conducted by WIN News Gippsland with ACNP President, Leanne Boase:

 

Latest Update 

April 2019

On the 27th March the ACNP attended the Stakeholder Consultation relating to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce – Report from the Nurse Practitioner Health Reference Group.

In attendance representing ACNP and our members were Catherine Smith, Amanda Davies and Leanne Boase.

Each of the recommendations were discussed with Taskforce and NPRG members, other nursing stakeholders, and consumer representatives.  We were very well supported by the other attendees at the Stakeholder consultation.

We clearly expressed strong support for each of the 14 recommendations in the Report, highlighting case examples and the evidence to support them.  We will continue with our working groups to ensure we are well prepared for our written response.  Thank-you to all of our members that helped us to prepare.

 

You can help  

1. Letter Campaign

We are calling on you to write to the Minister of Health and your local Member of Parliament in relation to supporting the 14 recommendations of the MBS Review – Report from the Nurse Practitioner Reference Group, and particularly, the removal of the collaborative arrangements.  

We have created a letter template (below) and included the steps and tips to streamline this process for you below:

ACNP Member Letter Template

Steps

  1. Find out who your Federal MP is
    https://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Parliamentarian_Search_Results?q=&mem=1&par=-1&gen=0&ps=0
  2. Check how to correctly address your Federal MP – see link for guidance 
    https://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Guidelines_for_Contacting_Senators_and_Members/How_to_address_Senators_and_Members
  3. Make minor changes to the Letter Template provided below
  4. Stick with the main theme
  5. Convert to a PDF
  6. Email your letter

Tips 
Keep your communication positive
Ensure it is brief and to the point, maximum one page
Please refrain from any negativity 

Who to write to:

  1. Federal Health Minister, The Hon. Greg Hunt
  2. Your local Federal MP
  3. A local candidate in the upcoming election (if applicable)

How to address Minister Hunt:

Envelope             The Hon. Greg Hunt, MP Minister for Health

Salutation            Dear Minister 

Conclusion          Yours faithfully 

Email Address     Minister.Hunt@health.gov.au

Postal Address    Parliament House
                            Canberra ACT 2600

Please contact the ACNP on 1300 433 660 if you need any assistance.

 

2. MBS Review Working Groups 

The ACNP MBS Review survey was sent to all members and your College obtain deidentified case studies and valuable feedback.  Thank you to the many members who took time to complete the Survey.  We were thrilled and overwhelmed with more than 150 replies.  As a result of the informed and detailed replies your Board has set up 10 working parties to fully address the 14 recommendations.  The working parties are:

Recommendation 1 & 2 Working Group
Recommendation 1: Enable patients to access MBS rebates for long-term and primary care management provided by NPs
Recommendation 2: Improve access to MBS-subsidised NP services in aged care settings
Lead: Stephanie Dowden WAChapter@acnp.org.au

Recommendation 3 Working Group
Recommendation 3: Enable DMMRs and RMMRs to be initiated by NPs 

Lead: Melanie Proper QLDChapter@acnp.org.au

Recommendation 4 Working Group
Recommendation 4: Significantly increase the schedule fee assigned to current MBS NP professional attendance items

Lead: Catherine Smith (catherine.smith@acnp.org.au)

Recommendation 5 Working Group
Recommendation 5: Longer NP attendances to support the delivery of complex and comprehensive care
Lead: Verena Tinning (NTChapter@acnp.org.au)

Recommendation 6 Working Group

Recommendation 6: Enable patients to access MBS rebates for after-hours or emergency care provided by NPs

Lead: Juliane Samara ACTChapter@acnp.org.au

Recommendation 7 Working Group
Recommendation 7: Enable patients to access MBS rebates for NP care received outside of a clinic setting

Lead: Hazel Bucher hazel.bucher@acnp.org.au

Recommendation 8 Working Group

Recommendation 8 – Remove the mandated requirement for NPs to form collaborative arrangements
Lead: Leanne Boase (leanne.boase@acnp.org.au)

Recommendation 9 Working Group

Recommendation 9: Remove current restrictions on diagnostic imaging investigations when requested by NPs

Lead: Debra Earl SAChapter@acnp.org.au

Recommendation 10 Working Group
Recommendation 10: Enable patients to access MBS rebates for procedures performed by an NP

Lead: Kerrie Duggan TASChapter@acnp.org.au  

Recommendation 11-14 Working Group

Recommendation 11: Add GPs as eligible participants in NP patient-side telehealth services

Recommendation 12: Add patients in community aged care settings to residential aged care telehealth items

Recommendation 13: Create new MBS items for direct NP-to-patient telehealth consultations

Recommendation 14: Allow telehealth consultations to take place via telephone where clinically appropriate
Leads: Melissa Robinson Reilly nswchapter@acnp.org.au and Amanda Davies amanda.davies@acnp.org.au

If you would like to provide further assistance, please contact the College at admin@acnp.org.au with the group you would like to join.

 

Actions taken for you as a Nurse Practitioner

A letter was sent to the Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, requesting support.  Reply was received  via Letter from The Hon Steve Irons MP.

We have been in contact with the Honourable, Greg Hunt, MP, Federal Health Minister, via mail.  You can read our comments in the Letter to Minister Hunt.

The ACNP is pleased to acknowledge the support of the following organisations who are equally encouraged by the recommendations and their positive improvement to better health outcomes for all Australians, including the Aged Care sector and Rural and Remote areas.

 

Letters of Support:  

ASHM_LOGO Read the letter of support from ASHM.

Bendigo health Read the letter of suppot. from Bendigo Health.

Cancer nurses Aus Logo Read the CNSA letter of Support

ACORN logo Read the ACORN Letter of Support..

Heathcote HealthRead the letter of support from Heathcote Health in Victoria.

CDMN logoRead the letter of support from the Council of Deans of Nursing and Midwifery.

DANA logo Read the letter of support from the Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia.

ACMHN logo Read the ACMHN Support Letter here.  ACMHN are setting the standard in mental health nursing.

AHPA logo Read the Support Letter from AHPA - the national voice for allied health professionals..

Crana plus logo Read the Support letter from CRANAplus who are improving remote health.

CENA Read the Support Letter from the College of Emergency Nursing Australia

ANMFRead the press release from ANMF here.

 

Primary HC Nurses  Read the letter of support from the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association

Read the abstract from APNA's weekly News Hook-up below.

Useful Links

The Terms of reference, membership of the Taskforce and reports of the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce are available at: 

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/MBSR-about

To find out more about 'Eligible Nurse Practitioners Questions and Answers' you can go to: 

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/midwives-nurse-pract-qanda-nursepract#3.