Medicare Patient Rebates

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15th October 2010, 11:15am - Views: 468





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Australian Medical Association Limited

ABN 37 008 426 793


42 Macquarie Street, Barton ACT 2600: PO Box 6090, Kingston ACT 2604

Telephone: (02) 6270 5400  Facsimile (02) 6270 5499





MEDICARE PATIENT REBATES FAIL TO KEEP PACE WITH COST

OF DELIVERING QUALITY CARE


The AMA today called for proper and realistic indexation of Medicare patient rebates

following notice from the Department of Health and Ageing that the patient rebate for a

standard GP consultation will increase by just 60 cents from 1 November 2010.


AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce, said the overall Medicare fee increase of 1.8 per cent is

inadequate when compared with the Labour Price Index of 2.96 per cent and CPI of 2.92 per

cent.  [The Labour Price Index (2.96 per cent) and CPI (2.92 per cent) have been calculated by

Access Economics based on actual data for the three quarters, December 2009 to June 2010,

and a forecast for the September 2010 quarter.]


The MBS rebate for a standard GP consultation will be $34.90, up from $34.30.


Dr Pesce said that the long history of Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) indexation lagging

well behind the cost of delivering high quality patient care is the reason for the difference

between MBS fees and AMA fees.


He said that this year’s inadequate indexation would only widen the gap.


This year, AMA fees have been indexed on average by 2.4 per cent.


The new AMA fee for a standard GP consultation will be $66, up from $64 in 2009. 


“Practice costs including employing practice staff, and operating expenses such as rent,

electricity, computers and professional insurance must all be met from the fee charged by the

doctor,” Dr Pesce said.


The AMA List of Medical Services and Fees provides guidance to AMA members when

setting their fees, based on their own practice cost experience.  The AMA Fees List is indexed

each year based on the AMA Medical Fees Index (MFI), which comprises:



Labour Price Index;


All Group CPI;


Private Motoring CPI; and


Medical Defence Insurance (MDI) premiums.


The overall average of 2010 MBS indexation is 1.8 per cent.  However, there are some medical

practitioner attendance fees and pathology and diagnostic imaging fees that have not been

indexed.  Therefore, the total MBS indexation is actually much lower.



15 October 2010


CONTACT:

John Flannery


02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761


Geraldine Kurukchi 

02 6270 5467 / 0427 209 753






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