Practice tells of wound-dressing cost

(Comment is invited on this issue)
A GP practice-owner writes:

An issue of concern to our practice is the ability for the PRACTICE to charge a fee for consumables, facility fee etc whilst the GP contracting the services is bulk billing the service. We are currently discussing this with AVANT but have not had an answer. Read more

Why changing the GP model is worth the effort

By Julie Lambert

Sydney GPs shifting to a new integrative care model are reporting better morale, happier patients, and some uncertainty about investment returns. The burden on general practices adopting the “patient-centred medical home” (PCMH) model is a heavy one, according to a new report from the WentWest Primary Health Network. Read more

Train GPs in the Bush for the Bush: Deputy PM

By Michael McCormack*
It’s simply not good enough. That is your first thought when you meet the people affected by Australia’s rural doctor shortage.
The people who travel for hours on country roads or who wait for weeks or even longer just to see a doctor. Those who do their best – who rally local business communities to help, who open their arms to a new recruit and make them welcome – just to make sure the doctor stays. Yet this is the reality in many country communities around Australia. Read more

Funding for general practice and difficult conversations

Editorial: Dr John Deery

I would assume that most practice owners are frustrated with successive governments (importantly both Labor and Liberal) effectively cutting the Medicare rebate for GP consultations through the Medicare rebate freeze. Paradoxically to what you would expect, the freeze on rebates has only pushed the bulk billing rate higher.

My speculation as to why, is that the doctors who predominantly bulk bill are seeing more patients. Either seeing them faster, or just working longer. The doctors who charge aren’t seeing any more patients, hence the ratio of bulk billing to fee paying is increasing. To support my speculation I looked at some basic statistics. The rate of growth for items 23 and 36 is increasing by roughly 50% faster than population growth. You can look up numbers yourself through the Medicare statistics website and the ABS for population growth. Read more

GP Pathology Rent Update: Be alert but not alarmed

Dear Practice Owners

Many of you have now received a letter from the Department of Health titled “Strengthening Compliance – Pathology Approved Collection Centres”. Our assessment at this stage is that whilst we need to remain vigilant to emerging threats to pathology rents, this letter is not an immediate cause for alarm. Read more

Australia comes out well in 11-nation health study

Australia’s health system comes out very well in a recent US study comparing health care system performance in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Read more