In a constantly changing environment, we summarise the most important updates for General Practitioners.
This week’s summary includes updates from:
- The Department of Health
and Check-ins with
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH-
Total Coronavirus Cases –
There have been a total of 28,817 cases in Australia. There have been 2 new locally acquired cases and 9 overseas acquired cases in the last 24 hours, with 45 current active cases.
COVID Vaccinations –
Registered health practitioners who are trained, educated and competent in all aspects of vaccine management and administration and who are authorised under relevant state and territory drugs and poisons legislation (medicines legislation) can administer vaccinations including the COVID-19 vaccines.
Medical practitioners and nurse practitioners can authorise/order vaccinations including the COVID-19 vaccines.
It is expected that the registered health practitioners who can authorise and/or administer COVID-19 vaccines will be required to complete additional training related to the handling and administration of the COVID-19 vaccines.
ACRRM Independent Pathway Applications –
Applications for the ACRRM Independent Pathway are now open and will close Monday the 22nd of March.
Additional PEP Terms –
The RACGP has introduced a new course within the PEP to better support non-vocationally registered (non-VR) doctors in their preparation for Fellowship exams.
The Practice Experience Program Exam Preparation (PEPExP) term is an optional course that can be undertaken concurrently with your last PEP educational term. It is only available to PEP participants and aims to enhance your skills for the AKT and KFP RACGP Fellowship exams.
RVTS Applications –
Applications for the RVTS Program are now open and will close on the 21st of February,
Apply Here: https://rvts.org.au/applicants/applications
March 2021 Other Changes –
Amendment to MBS items 15900 and 31516 for targeted intraoperative radiation therapy to enable this service to be provided by using the Xoft® Axxent® device. Targeted intraoperative radiation therapy is usually delivered as part of a breast conserving surgical procedure and is an alternative treatment option for breast cancer patients. In items 15900 and 31516 the word ‘radiotherapy’ to be replaced with ‘radiation therapy’ and both items will include ‘Applicable only once per breast per lifetime’.
As of 1 March 2021, minor amendments to the current colonoscopy items 32223, 32224 and 32226 will be made to reflect the patient’s clinical indications better and to ensure that patients with serrated polyps can access these services at appropriate service intervals.
A new item 45658 is being introduced for the correction of a congenital deformity of the ear in patients of any age. Currently only patients who are under 18 years of age are able to access a Medicare service (item 45659) for the correction of congenital deformity of the ear.
The schedule fee for medical perfusion item 22060 will be increased from $408.00 to $612.00. This change was announced by the Government in the 2020-21 Budget under the Guaranteeing Medicare – Medicare Benefits Schedule review measure. Item 22060 is for patients requiring cardiopulmonary bypass and cardioplegia when undergoing cardiac surgery.
In addition, there has been minor changes to the descriptor for item 42739, to clarify that the service requires the administration of anaesthetic by an anaesthetist, to ensure appropriate use.
As at 1 March 2021, 24 items (55126, 55127, 55128, 55129, 55132, 55133, 55134, 55137, 55141, 55143, 55145, 55146, 61321, 61324, 61325, 61329, 61345, 61349, 61357, 61394, 61398, 61406, 61410 and 61414) from the Health Insurance (Section 3C Diagnostic Imaging Services – Cardiac Services) Determination will be incorporated into the Diagnostic Imaging Services Table (DIST). In addition, 11 items (11704, 11705, 11707, 11714, 11716, 11717, 11723, 11729, 11730, 11731 and 11735) from the Health Insurance (Section 3C General Medical Services – Cardiac Services) Determination 2020 will be incorporated into the General Medical Services Table (GMST).
There are minor changes to items 11704, 11707, 11714, 11716, 11717, 11723, 11729, 11730 and 11735 to include the restriction that the items are not associated with a service to which item 12203, 12204, 12205, 12207, 12208, 12210, 12213, 12215, 12217 or 12250 applies. In addition these items cannot be provided as part of an episode of hospital treatment or as part of hospital-substitute treatment where a benefit is paid from a private health insurer.
Sleep study items 12203, 12204, 12205, 12207 and 12208 have also been amended so that these services cannot be provided in association with cardiac items 11704, 11705, 11707, 11713, 11714, 11716, 11717, 11723 and 11735. This change will align these items with other sleep study and cardiac items.
Thirty items (90250, 90251, 90252, 90253, 90254, 90255, 90256, 90257, 90260, 90261, 90262, 90263, 90264, 90265, 90266, 90267, 90268, 90269, 90271, 90272, 90273, 90274, 90275, 90276, 90277, 90278, 90279, 90280, 90281 and 90282) from the Health Insurance (Section 3C General Medical Services – Eating Disorders Treatment Plan and Psychological Treatment Services) Determination 2019 will be incorporated into the GMST. These items are for treatment and management services for patients with an eating disorder.
Seven items 33570, 35571, 35573, 35577, 35581, 35582 and 35585 from the Health Insurance (Section 3C General Medical Services—Transvaginal repair of pelvic organ prolapse and procedures for the excision of graft material) Determination 2018 will be incorporated into the GMST.
One item 11219 from the Health Insurance (Section 3C General Medical Services – Optical Coherence Tomography) Determination 2018 will be incorporated into the GMST. Item 11219 provides an imaging test, known as optical coherence tomography to determine if patients with ocular conditions can access treatment with certain medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Two items (2729 and 2731) from the Health Insurance (Section 3C General Medical Services – General Practitioner Telehealth Services) Determination 2018 will be incorporated into the GMST. These services are for the provision of focussed psychological strategies for assessed mental disorders by a general practitioner by teleconference for patients who are located in a Modified Monash 4 to 7 area.
One item (72860) from the Health Insurance (Section 3C Pathology Services – Archival Tissue Retrieval) Determination 2019 will be incorporated into the Pathology Services Table (PST). This service is for the retrieval of stored pathology tissue samples.
One item (57357) from the Health Insurance (Section 3C Diagnostic Imaging Services – Computed Tomography Angiography) Determination 2020 will be incorporated into the DIST. This service is for computed tomography angiography of the pulmonary artery for an initial investigation for pulmonary embolism.
The examinations will recommence with two ‘pilot’ examinations in March 2021.
Candidates who were scheduled in the postponed examinations between March and June 2020 will receive priority scheduling based on the date and chronological order of their originally scheduled examination. To be eligible, candidates must not have withdrawn their position and must still be residing in Australia. Scheduling will be offered based on the order of the originally scheduled examinations.
The AMC will shortly commence contacting these candidates with newly available examination dates, determine if the date is at a suitable time, and agree acceptance with the candidate (or not). If you are unable to attend this exam date, you will continue to be prioritised for upcoming examinations.
The examination will initially be delivered via the Zoom platform. Once the candidate accepts the offered position, the new examination date will be updated by the AMC on their candidate portal in the following days. The candidate will need to login to their candidate portal on the day of the examination and a link will be provided to enter the examination.
Candidates will undertake the examination online. A personal computer will be required with a microphone and a webcam at eye level. All Apple computers, such as Macbooks and iMacs, or other personal mobile devices such as mobile phones or tablets cannot be used for the examination. A reliable internet connection will be required and this is the responsibility of the candidate. Further technical specifications and guidance to assist candidates will be made available prior to the recommencement of examinations.
The examination blueprint currently remains the same. For each examination, eighteen (18) candidates will attempt sixteen (16) stations with four (4) rest stations. This is consistent with the in-person examination that candidates are familiar with at the time examinations were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read more here: https://www.amc.org.au/assessment/clinical-examination/
3GA PROGRAM IMPORTANT DATES:
- AGPT applications are currently closed.
- RVTS applications are now open and will close on the 21st of February.
- PEP applications are now closed.
- ACRRM Independent Pathway intake applications are now open and will close on March 22nd.
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