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Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Page: 2472

Senator DI NATALE (Victoria) (15:44): I move:

That the Senate—

   (a)   notes that:

      (i)   Medicare has completed audits of 89 dentists who accessed the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme,

      (ii)   a further 540 audits are still underway,

      (iii)   of the completed audits, only 12 were found to be for the non-provision of claimed services,

      (iv)   of the remaining audits found to be non-compliant, non-compliance is in most cases of a technical and administrative nature, whereby the practitioner failed to provide a written quote to the patient or a treatment summary to the referring doctor in a timely fashion, and

      (v)   claims for full repayment of services delivered under Medicare to the community may result in undue hardship to dental practitioners who acted in good faith; and

   (b)   calls on the Government to waive its right to the repayment of debts incurred by dental practitioners as a result of a Medicare audit where:

      (i)   all services claimed were rendered properly and in good faith to eligible patients, and

      (ii)   the nature of the non-compliance was purely administrative in nature.