APS Restricts Member Feedback on Green Paper!

Twenty-four thousand APS Members will have only 3 hours to give their feedback on the crucial Green Paper by the APS MBS Expert Panel to be released on Monday. The Green Paper, developed as a solution to the highly contentious two-tiered Medicare rebate system, is likely to impact the future of thousands of psychologists.

RAPS is very suspicious of this latest announcement. The APS claims to have 24,000 members, if even 10% respond (approximately 2,400 members) – how can this be covered in 3 hours and how much time will be allocated for each question?

Given the short duration of the sessions and the fact that consultations will only happen over one week, psychologists could be forgiven for thinking that the APS does not actually want any assessment, critical analysis and feedback of their new Medicare funding model.

Due to the highly restrictive terms of reference for the APS MBS Consultation and that the APS has admitted it has not withdrawn its original 3- tiered submission to the MBS Review, we expect that the Green Paper will likely propose a similar 3-tiered ‘solution’. RAPS is concerned that the Green Paper will not detail important aspects of the model and will privilege endorsed psychologists over those that have completed the 4+2 or 5+1 model of training. We are concerned that important detail will be missing such as who would have authority to assign psychologists to Tiers 1, 2 or 3 as in the past? Will it be only members of the clinical college again?

RAPS urges all APS members to register to participate in the telephone information and input sessions and ask a question next week (see the times below). We recommend you read the document carefully before the call. We have prepared a list of suggested questions you may like to ask:

1. Who would have authority to assign psychologists to Level 1, 2 or 3 as on the original submission to the MBS Review? Eg, restricting ‘Level 2 Services’ for “Moderate-Severe Disorders’ to psychologists with AoPE or ‘psychologists who can demonstrate equivalent competence’ and how will such ‘equivalent competence’ be determined and by whom? Will it be only members of the clinical college again?
2. What is the likely impact to clients of this new model, particularly those in regional, rural and remote areas?
3. How will this new model impact upon Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and culturally and linguistically diverse clients of bilingual and multilingual psychologists?
4. What advantages and disadvantages does this model have over a one-tier system?
5. How will psychologists that have completed the 4+2 and 5+1 model of training be impacted by the new model?
6. Is there any empirical evidence that supports this new model?
7. Why shouldn’t psychologists adversely impacted by this new model leave the APS immediately?

Have your question ready and take notes. RAPS recommends recording the answers if possible.

Here are the scheduled times for the APS telephone information and input sessions:

1. Tuesday 26th March, 5.30 – 6.30pm AEDT
2. Thursday 28th March, 8 – 9pm AEDT
3. Friday 29th March, 8 – 9am AEDT

Once you have been connected to the telephone session you will be able to register a question using your telephone keypad to connect to an event administrator.

This will be your last chance to make a difference.

Psychology is your profession; if you don’t fight for it, who will?

Regards,

The RAPS Team