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:
The ACNP would like to sincerely thank the over 200 members who contributed to this submission, there are far too many to name, but we are immensely pleased with the response and engagement we have had, and we look forward to the outcome, knowing that we have truly represented the interests of the community first and foremost. Leanne Boase
The closing date is now 7 June 2019 and was previously 17 May 2019.
From: Primary Care Reference Groups <PCRGinbox@health.gov.au>
Date: 6 May 2019 at 4:32:57 pm AEST
To: Undisclosed recipients:;
Subject: Closing date for MBS Review Primary Care Reference Groups submissions extended to 7 June 2019 [SEC=OFFICIAL]
Closing date for Primary Care Reference Groups submissions extended to 7 June 2019
Following feedback from stakeholders, and in consultation with the MBS Review Taskforce, the closing date for submissions on the following draft reports has been extended to 7 June 2019:
- Report from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Reference Group (draft)
- Report from the Allied Health Reference Group (draft)
- Report from the Mental Health Reference Group (draft)
- Report from the Nurse Practitioner Reference Group (draft)
- Report from the Participating Midwives Reference Group (draft)
It is not expected this extension will delay the consideration of the post-consultation recommendations from the Reference Groups, which are still expected in late 2019. We continue to welcome your feedback on these reports. Responses can be sent to the Taskforce via email at MBSReviews@health.gov.au. Please contact the MBS Reviews Unit should you have any questions.
As the closing date of June 7, 2019 approaches your College is reaching out to other individuals and bodies to encourage them to provide feedback. You can see further down the page those who have already expressed their support. Here is the ACNP Letter to Stakeholders NPRG for written submission that has been distributed.
To offer your support you can send a submission of your own to the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce, Professor Tim Usherwood, Chair – General Practice and Primary Care Clinical Committee. If you are not sure what to write, ACNP has a NPRG Submission Template For Members to build on.
We ask our members to consider the following main principles of the ACNP response, including focus on:
- Benefits to patients - the patient comes first
- Improvement of access to care - not all needs are being met in our community
- Nurses, including Nurse Practitioners, can deliver better health care in more places if enabled to work to full scope of practice
- Nurse Practitioners focus on preventative care and health education, as well as managing acute or chronic illness, and are therefore economically sustainable, and excellent value for the taxpayer dollar
The College is not responding to negative media, or statements that are not supported by evidence. We will instead focus on the added value we bring to the Australian Health care system and our community, and engaging with key stakeholders to support the 14 recommendations.
If members would like to complete an individual submission, you can choose to focus on any, or all of the recommendations, or the general principles as above.
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:
- Find out who your Federal MP is
- Check how to correctly address your Federal MP – see link for guidance
- Make minor changes to the Letter Template provided below
- Stick with the main theme
- Convert to a PDF
- Email your letter
Keep your communication positive
Ensure it is brief and to the point, maximum one page
Please refrain from any negativity
Who to write to:
- Federal Health Minister, The Hon. Greg Hunt
- Your local Federal MP
- 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 (email@example.com)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Recommendation 8 Working Group
Recommendation 8 – Remove the mandated requirement for NPs to form collaborative arrangements
Lead: Leanne Boase (email@example.com)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and Amanda Davies email@example.com
If you would like to provide further assistance, please contact the College at firstname.lastname@example.org 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:
Read the letter of support from ASHM.
Read the letter of suppot. from Bendigo Health.
Read the CNSA letter of Support.
Read the ACORN Letter of Support..
Read the letter of support from Heathcote Health in Victoria.
Read the letter of support from the Council of Deans of Nursing and Midwifery.
Read the letter of support from the Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia.
Read the ACMHN Support Letter here. ACMHN are setting the standard in mental health nursing.
Read the Support Letter from AHPA - the national voice for allied health professionals..
Read the Support letter from CRANAplus who are improving remote health.
Read the Support Letter from the College of Emergency Nursing Australia
Read the press release from ANMF here.
Read the letter of support from the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association
Read the abstract from APNA's weekly News Hook-up below.
The Terms of reference, membership of the Taskforce and reports of the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce are available at:
To find out more about 'Eligible Nurse Practitioners Questions and Answers' you can go to: