Option A Private Practice Billing Cautionary Notice to Medical Officers

Posted December 16, 2011 by Alex Scott

Issues identified with Option A billing arrangements and bulk billing Acute Primary Care Clinics (APCCs) collocated with Emergency Departments

Together Queensland, has for a number of years been attempting to resolve anomalies and problems associated with private practice policies, private practice contracts and various private practice arrangements.

We have successfully pressed for a number of changes to the outdated policies and are presently engaged in separate exercises to

a) Redraft the current private practice Option A contracts to reflective the original intention of the entitlement and also remove QH's discretion to cancel contracts at will.

b) Review the range of current private practice arrangements with a view to recommending new models of private practice

c) Resolve a dispute in the Qld Industrial Commission on the appropriate circumstances and processes for establishing any bulk billing APCCs within Queensland Health.

Members, and all QH Medical Officers should take specific notice of the following

Taxation Matters

It has recently been confirmed that SMOs would be required to account to the Australian Tax Office for Option A billings in their name and any remit to QH although at present QH does not provide SMOs with a means of properly reporting that to the ATO. In the absence of a specific tax ruling approving the current arrangements Medical Officers should give serious consideration to their participation in any billing arrangements. We shall continue to press for an urgent resolution of this matter.

Matters associated with bulk billing APCCs in areas outside those exempted under S19(2) of the Health Insurance Act.

The Union is but one of many stakeholders that have concerns about the legal framework for the establishment of bulk billing APCCs collocated with Emergency Departments, implementation without consultation, and the level of indemnity provided to doctors engaged in APCC activity. We also have numerous concerns of an industrial nature.

We are pleased to advise that in response to our dispute lodged with the QIRC, QH has withdrawn its policy on APCCs and the QIRC will remain involved to ensure the parties reach agreement on the proposer process for organizational change of this nature.

For your information, the following statement of threshold issues and agreed process between the Union and QH will shortly be provided to all QH Districts. It is our very clear expectation that all existing and new APCC proposals will comply with the consultation requirements however in the meantime any members with concerns about any aspect of expected participation in any APCC should contact the Union.

If you are not a member of the Union and wish to join you can do so online at https://secure.together.org.au/join-now/

For advice or further information please contact:

Jenny Cannon
Ph: 30176129
Mob: 0438502001
Email: jenny.cannon@together,org.au




Authorised Alex Scott, Secretary, Together.
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