RACGP Standards for general practice residential aged care (GPRAC) for consultation

Submissions close 5 November 2019

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has released the draft of the RACGP Standards for general practice residential aged care (1st edition) (Standards for GPRAC) for public consultation.

The RACGP has a 27 year history in the development of standards for use in a primary healthcare setting. All of the RACGP’s standards form a foundational benchmark for quality and safety in Australian general practice.

To ensure the Standards for GPRAC are fit for purpose, improve access and enhance care to residents, the RACGP invites interested Members, individuals and organisations to review the draft and provide feedback.

The draft has been developed by the RACGP Working group - Standards for general practice residential aged care and the RACGP Expert Committee - Standards for General Practices and has been informed by:

  • available national and international evidence
  • comparable national and international standards.

The consultation phase will run from 8 October 2019 and conclude on 5 November 2019. 

To access the draft version of the Standards for GPRAC, please click here. To provide feedback, please email the RACGP.

New MBS Item proposed for Eating Disorders


​New MBS item numbers proposed for eating disorders are due to commence in November 2019

  • On 10 December 2018, the Australian Government announced a commitment of an estimated $111 million to the creation of a specific item number for eating disorders. The new MBS item will commence from November 2019.
  • Under the new item, individuals will be able to access up to 40 psychological sessions and up to 20 dietetic session in any calendar year. This is an increase from the previous 10 psychological sessions under the GP Mental Health Care Plan item and the previous 5 sessions under the Dietetics Services item.
  • Details on eligibility for the new Medicare item numbers is yet to be provided by the Commonwealth.


Shared Debt Recovery Scheme


The Shared Debt Recovery Scheme (SDRS) will commence from 1 July 2019. The SDRS will introduce a fairer approach to billing practices and will enable the Department to hold an organisation responsible for a portion of any debts incurred as a result of incorrect Medicare claiming.

This change recognises that there has been an increase in the role of practices, corporate entities and hospitals in the billing of MBS services on behalf of individual practitioners. It also highlights that both parties have a responsibility to ensure MBS claims are made correctly, in that:

  • Medical Practitioners have a responsibility to ensure claims made under their provider number meet the MBS requirements; and
  • Medical practices have a responsibility to ensure that Medical Practitioners within a practice are claiming MBS items correctly.
For more information click here

New dedicated Medicare item for heart health checks


Mr Morrison announced that from 1 April, Australians at risk of heart disease will be eligible for a multi-point heart check-up, which will be estimated to prevent 76,500 heart attacks — 9100 of them fatal — and save $1.5 billion over the next five years.  1 April 2019, will bring a Medicare rebate of $72.80 for the half-hour service, in which a GP will check a patient’s blood pressure, cholesterol, lifestyle factors, smoking status and family history then estimate their risk of a heart attack in the next five years. 

Prevention is key. This dedicated Medicare item for heart health checks will save and protect lives.  Medicare access will enable GPs and patients to work together to manage their risk factors hopefully preventing a heart attack or development of heart disease.

The independent medical experts at the Medical Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce will also conduct a review with the potential for further development of this new Medicare item.

More information

Quality Improvement Practice Incentive Program


The Quality Improvement (QI) Practice Incentive Payment (PIP) is due to commence from 1 May 2019. The current PIP payments for Asthma, Cervical Screening, Diabetes, Aged Care Access and Quality Prescribing will cease from 30 April 2019, while the PIP Incentives for After Hours, eHealth, Indigenous Health, Procedural General Practice, Rural Loading and Teaching will remain unchanged.   

The new QI PIP aims to improve:

  • access to care
  • detection and management of chronic conditions, and
  • quality, safety, performance and accountability.

As part of the QI PIP, practices will be required to commit to quality improvement activities and sharing de-identified general practice data. This also supports general practice accreditation, which encourages general practices to pursue continuous quality improvement and best practice standards.

General practices eligible to participate in the QI PIP can apply from 1 May 2019. QI PIP guidelines, including data governance guidelines, are yet to be provided by the Australian Department of Health. Further updates will be provided through Practice Connect when information becomes available, or you can register for the Incentives News Updates available through the Australian Government Department of Human Services.

WAPHA supports over 350 practices in WA through data sharing arrangements. If your practice is interested in establishing a data-sharing arrangement with WAPHA, further information is available from WAPHA’s website  or contact your Primary Health Liaison.

Practice Assist acknowledges and pays respect to the Traditional Owners and Elders of this country
and recognises the significant importance of their cultural heritage, values and beliefs and how these
contribute to the positive health and wellbeing of the whole community.