Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download PDFDownload PDF 

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment

HEALTH INSURANCE AMENDMENT (COMPLIANCE) BILL 2009

Leave refused: Senator Cormann sought leave to move a motion to provide that the Health Insurance Amendment (Compliance) Bill 2009 be called on immediately and have precedence over all other government business till determined.

An objection was raised and leave was not granted.

Suspension of standing orders: Senator Cormann, at the request of the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Minchin) and pursuant to contingent notice, moved—That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Senator Minchin moving a motion relating to the conduct of the business of the Senate, namely a motion to provide that the Health Insurance Amendment (Compliance) Bill 2009 be called on immediately and have precedence over all other government business today till determined.

Debate ensued.

Question put.

The Senate divided—

AYES, 36

Senators—

Abetz

Adams

Back

Barnett

Bernardi

Birmingham

Boswell

Brandis

Bushby

Cash

Colbeck

Cormann

Eggleston

Ferguson

Fielding

Fierravanti-Wells

Fifield

Fisher

Heffernan

Humphries

Johnston

Joyce

Kroger

Macdonald

Mason

McGauran

Nash

Parry (Teller)

Payne

Ronaldson

Ryan

Scullion

Troeth

Trood

Williams

Xenophon


NOES, 34

Senators—

Arbib

Bilyk

Bishop

Brown, Bob

Brown, Carol

Cameron

Carr

Collins

Conroy

Crossin

Farrell

Faulkner

Feeney

Forshaw

Furner

Hanson-Young

Hogg

Hurley

Hutchins

Ludlam

Ludwig

Lundy

Marshall

McEwen (Teller)

McLucas

Milne

Moore

O'Brien

Polley

Pratt

Sherry

Siewert

Sterle

Wortley

Question agreed to.

Senator Cormann, at the request of Senator Minchin, moved—That the Health Insurance Amendment (Compliance) Bill 2009 be called on immediately and have precedence over all other government business today till determined.

Question put.

The Senate divided—

AYES,37


Senators—
AbetzCashHumphriesRonaldson
AdamsColbeckJohnstonRyan
BackCormannJoyceScullion
BarnettEgglestonKrogerTroeth
BernardiFergusonMasonTrood
BirminghamFieldingMcGauranWilliams
BoswellFierravanti-WellsMinchinXenophon
BoyceFifieldNash
BrandisFisherParry (Teller)
BushbyHeffernanPayne

NOES, 35


Senators—
ArbibCrossinHurleyMoore
BilykEvansHutchinsO'Brien
BishopFarrellLudlamPolley
Brown, BobFaulknerLudwigPratt
Brown, CarolFeeneyLundySherry
CameronForshawMarshallSiewert
CarrFurnerMcEwen (Teller)Sterle
CollinsHanson-YoungMcLucasWortley
ConroyHoggMilne

Question agreed to.

Order of the day read for the adjourned debate on the motion of Senator McEwen—That this bill be now read a second time.

Debate resumed.

Question put and passed.

Bill read a second time.

The Senate resolved itself into committee for the consideration of the bill.

In the committee


Bill taken as a whole by leave.

On the motion of Senator Scullion the following amendments, taken together by leave, were debated and agreed to:

 Schedule 1, item 2, page 3 (line 23), at the end of paragraph 129AAD(1)(b), add:

 ; and (c) has taken reasonable steps to consult with a relevant professional body about the types of documents that contain information relevant to ascertaining whether amounts paid in respect of professional services of the same kind or kinds as the service or services referred to in paragraph (a) should have been paid.

 Schedule 1, item 2, page 3 (after line 30), after subsection 129AAD(1), insert:

  (1A) In this section:

   relevant professional body means a body declared by the Minister to be a relevant body for the purpose of this section.

Senator Siewert moved the following amendments together by leave:

 Schedule 1, item 2, page 3 (line 32), omit "If", substitute "Subject to section 129AADA, if".

 Schedule 1, item 2, page 6 (after line 7), after section 129AAD, insert:

  

129 AADA Additional requirements for personal clinical records

   When section applies

  (1) This section applies if, in relation to a decision under section 129AAD to require a person to produce or copy a document or an extract of any document:

 (a) the Medicare Australia CEO; or

 (b) the medical practitioner referred to in paragraph 129AAD(1)(b);

   knows or believes on reasonable grounds that the document, extract or copy contains clinical details relating to an individual.

   What happens

  (2) Any decision to require the person to produce or copy the document or an extract of the document:

 (a) may only be made by the CEO; and

 (b) must be made with oversight by qualified medical advisers.

  (3) Before requiring the person to produce or copy the document or an extract of the document, the CEO must cause a Privacy Impact Assessment to be prepared, which must address:

 (a) whether there is any other way to obtain the information being sought; and

 (b) whether the requirement to produce the document is in the public interest; and

 (c) whether the information being sought could be gained using de-identified records without undermining the integrity of the audit process.

  (4) Before requiring the person to produce or copy the document or an extract of the document, the CEO must take all reasonable steps to advise the individual, or the individual's representative, that his or her personal clinical records are to be accessed for the purpose of a compliance audit.


  (5) If the individual, or the individual's representative, objects to the use of the individual's personal clinical records:

 (a) the individual, or the individual's representative, must be given the opportunity to provides reasons for that objection; and

 (b) the CEO must review the decision to seek information by requiring the person to produce or copy the document or an extract of the document; and

 (c) if the CEO decides to proceed to require the person to produce or copy the document or an extract of the document—the patient must be provided with written reasons for that decision.

Debate ensued.

Question—That the amendments be agreed to—put and negatived.

Senator Scullion moved the following amendments together by leave:

 No. 1—Schedule 1, item 2, page 4 (line 14), omit "request", substitute "written request".

 No. 2—Schedule 1, item 2, page 5 (after line 19), after paragraph 129AAD(8)(b), insert:

 (ba) specify the information relevant to ascertaining whether amounts paid in respect of each such service should have been paid; and

 No. 3—Schedule 1, item 2, page 5 (after line 31), at the end of subsection 129AAD(8), add:

Note: For the purpose of paragraph (8)(ba) the notice will include the reason for the CEO's concern about the payment and explain the factual issue that the person is required to substantiate.

 No. 4—Schedule 1, item 2, page 6 (after line 7), at the end of section 129AAD, add:

  (11) Notices to produce documents issued under this section will not include requests for information about whether a particular service was clinically relevant.

Debate ensued.

Senator Scullion, by leave, amended amendment no. 4 to read as follows:

 Schedule 1, item 2, page 6 (after line 7), at the end of section 129AAD, add:

  (11) The CEO may not develop a reasonable concern under this section about the clinical relevance of a particular service.

Question—That the amendments be agreed to—put and passed.

The Leader of the Family First Party (Senator Fielding) moved the following amendment:

 Schedule 1, item 2, page 8 (lines 13 to 15), omit subsection 129AAG(7), substitute:

  (7) Where a document has been produced to an employee of Medicare Australia who is a medical practitioner, this section does not authorise an employee who is not a medical practitioner to exercise powers under subsection (2) in relation to the document.

Debate ensued.

Question—That the amendment be agreed to—put and negatived.


Senator Siewert moved the following amendment:

 Schedule 1, page 10 (after line 19), after section 129AAJ, insert:

  

129AAK Routine audit requirements

  (1) The regulations may prescribe requirements for medical practitioners to submit routine records of consultations online for the purposes of Medicare audit processes, including the following:

 (a) the purpose of the consultation;

 (b) the service or services rendered;

 (c) length of time;

 (d) referrals made.

  (2) The regulations may prescribe a timeframe for compliance with the requirement to submit records, reflecting a general intention that records will be submitted online during each consultation as a matter of course.

  (3) The Minister must take all reasonable steps to ensure that regulations for the purposes of subsection (1) are made before 1 July 2010.

Debate ensued.

Question—That the amendment be agreed to—put and negatived.

On the motion of Senator Scullion the following amendment was debated and agreed to:

 Schedule 1, item 2, page 10 (after line 5), after subsection 129AAJ(1), insert:

  (1A) In making an application under subsection (1), the person or estate may provide the Medicare Australia CEO with additional information to substantiate (wholly or partly) that the amount paid, purportedly by way of benefit or payment under this Act in respect of the service, should have been paid.

Question—That the bill, as amended, be agreed to—divided, at the request of Senator Scullion, in respect of Schedule 1, item 2, subsection 129AAJ(5).

Question—That Schedule 1, item 2, subsection 129AAJ(5) stand as printed—put and negatived.

Senator Cormann, also on behalf of Senators Fielding and Xenophon, moved the following amendments together by leave:

 Clause 2, page 1 (lines 7 and 8), omit the clause, substitute:

  

2 Commencement

  (1) Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.


Commencement information

Column 1Column 2Column 3

Provision(s)CommencementDate/Details

1. Sections 1 to 3 and anything in this Act not elsewhere covered by this tableThe day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent.

2. Schedule 11 January 2010.

3. Schedule 2The day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

Note: This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally passed by both Houses of the Parliament and assented to. It will not be expanded to deal with provisions inserted in this Act after assent.

  (2) Column 3 of the table contains additional information that is not part of this Act. Information in this column may be added to or edited in any published version of this Act.

 Page 19 (after line 16), at the end of the bill, add:

  

Schedule 2—Amendment relating to disallowance of medical services items

 

Health Insurance Act 1973

 1 At the end of section 4

  Add:

  (3) If an item in a table of medical services prescribed in accordance with subsection (1) is disallowed under section 42 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003, the corresponding item, if any, in the previous regulations is taken to apply in place of the disallowed item from the time of disallowance.

  (4) In subsection (3):

   corresponding item means:

 (a) the item in the previous regulations with the same item number; or

 (b) if no item satisfies paragraph (a)—the item in the previous regulations covering the same medical services;

   as the disallowed item.

   previous regulations means the regulations that were in force immediately prior to the commencement of the disallowed item.

 2 Application

  The amendment made by this Schedule applies in relation to any disallowance after 26 October 2009 of an item in a table of medical services prescribed in accordance with subsection 4(1) of the Health Insurance Act 1973.

Debate ensued.


Question—That the amendments be agreed to—put.

The committee divided—

AYES, 41

Senators—

Abetz

Adams

Back

Barnett

Bernardi

Birmingham

Boyce

Brown, Bob

Bushby

Cash

Colbeck

Coonan

Cormann

Eggleston

Ferguson

Fielding

Fierravanti-Wells

Fisher

Hanson-Young

Heffernan

Humphries

Johnston

Joyce

Kroger

Ludlam

Macdonald

Mason

McGauran

Milne

Minchin

Nash

Parry

Payne

Ronaldson

Ryan

Scullion

Siewert

Troeth

Trood

Williams (Teller)

Xenophon

NOES, 29

Senators—

Arbib

Bilyk

Bishop

Brown, Carol

Cameron

Carr

Collins

Conroy

Crossin

Evans

Farrell (Teller)

Feeney

Forshaw

Furner

Hogg

Hurley

Hutchins

Ludwig

Lundy

Marshall

McEwen

McLucas

Moore

O'Brien

Polley

Pratt

Sherry

Sterle

Wortley

Question agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Bill to be reported with amendments.

The Deputy President (Senator Ferguson) resumed the chair and the Chair of Committees reported accordingly.

On the motion of the Special Minister of State (Senator Ludwig) the report from the committee was adopted and the bill read a third time.