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New items on Medical Benefits Schedule improve delivery of aged care.

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Media Release Bronwyn Bishop Minister for Aged Care

Wednesday, 8 November 2000

New items on Medical Benefits Schedule improve delivery of aged care Federal Minister for Aged Care, Bronwyn Bishop, today welcomed the addition of new items on the Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) for care planning and case conferencing in residential aged care.

Mrs Bishop said the new MBS items will enhance the role of GPs in the delivery of care in residential aged care services.

"The delivery of quality care in residential facilities needs to be a partnership between providers, families, the Government and professionals, such as GPs," Mrs Bishop said.

"Significant quality improvements can be made in residential aged care by engaging relevant professionals in the design and delivery of the care.

From 1 November 2000, the Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) items for case conferencing and contributing to care planning will be extended into all residential aged care. In addition, the rebate for contributing to a care plan will be increased by 40 per cent.

The EPC items allow primary care practitioners, particularly general practitioners, to focus on better coordination of care.

The EPC items allow for a multi-disciplinary approach to health care through a more flexible, efficient and responsive match between care recipients' needs and services, and greater empowerment and participation by care recipients and carers.

Mrs Bishop said there is great potential for GPs and pharmacists to collaborate to improve residents' health through the EPC items. "In residential care, case conferencing could include a GP, the Director of Nursing and an accredited pharmacist or physiotherapist. Care planning could consist of GPs working with the facility to contribute to individual care plans that are then implemented by the facility's nursing staff."

From 1 November 2000, the MBS rebates for specialist visits to residential care facilities will also be increased. The Consultant Physician's MBS items for case conferencing will also be extended into residential aged care from 1 November 2000.

"These changes will improve care in facilities by ensuring that specialist expertise such as geriatricians will also be available to care recipients in residential aged care," Mrs Bishop said.

"These changes were recommended by the Working Group on Medical and Pharmaceutical Management in Residential Aged Care that I established in April this year as a part of the National Aged Care Accreditation and Compliance Forum.

"I am particularly pleased that the Government has been able to respond to the Working Group's recommendations so quickly," Mrs Bishop said. Media Contact: Genevieve Atkinson on 0407 367 694 .

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©Commonwealth of Australia, 2000

Published on Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care web site 22 November 2000 Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care URL: