Opportunity for change: Feedback now!

Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Reviews Taskforce is seeking your feedback on the draft reports from Primary Care Reference Groups.

RAPS urges all stakeholders to provide Comment on the Mental Health Reference Group report by 17th May.

Note the Mental Health Reference Group is one of five reference groups under the Primary Care Reference Groups consultation process. While it contains the bulk of the MBS recommendations around psychological services, there are important considerations regarding ASD assessment and treatment items contained in the Allied Health Reference Group report.

Background:

As you will be aware, the MBS Review Taskforce has appointed the Mental Health Reference Group  to look into the MBS psychology item numbers to make sure they aligned with contemporary clinical evidence. The Mental Health Reference Group made draft recommendations to the Taskforce. A link to the reports can be found here.

The Taskforce is now seeking feedback and comments from key stakeholders in the primary care sectors to review the report. RAPS encourages everyone to provide comments and feedback on the report.

The Taskforce considers the reports from clinical committees and stakeholder feedback before making recommendations to the Minister for Health, for consideration by the Government.

The Taskforce is particularly interested in your views (and the views of your organisation) on the following questions:

1. Do you agree/disagree with each of the recommendations in the report? Could you please support your arguments with relevant clinical evidence?

2. Are there any aspects of primary care that have not been considered as part of this report that you consider require further investigation?

Your written feedback on the report is welcomed by Friday 17 May 2019. Responses can be sent to the Taskforce via email at MBSReviews@health.gov.au. Please mark your email to the attention of Ms Amy McLeod in the Department of Health.

There are several excellent recommendations within the report, and you may wish to review and provide feedback on these as you see fit. RAPS  strongly agree with all  recommendations except recommendation 4.

With regards to recommendation 4, RAPS disagrees with the recommendation to convene a new group to resolve the critical issues caused by the existing 2-tier structure, and APS’s recent submission for 3-tiers of psychology professionals under Medicare. RAPS argues that the current/existing MHRG members, with their experience and knowledge of the issues, be reinstated (not a new group created) to resolve these issues of differential eligibility of psychology professionals within Medicare.

There is a very real risk that the recommendation for further debate will be ignored, and instead the APS 3-tier submission will be adopted without opposition, OR the current 2-tier system will continue.

The only opportunity we have to resolve this once and for all is to get the same MHRG members back together to work out an effective (Pirkis, et. al., 2011) and evidence based solution (1-Tier).