Last Updated – 27 August 2014
DOC (487 KB) version of Medicare Health Assessments - Aug 2014
PDF (186 KB) version of Medicare Health Assessments - Aug 2014
Medicare health assessments provided by general practitioners (GPs) may be delivered using Medicare items 701 to 707 (the general, time-tiered health assessment items) and 715 (the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Assessment).
The health assessments are generally made up of the following elements:
- information collection, including taking a patient history and undertaking or arranging examinations and investigations as required;
- making an overall assessment of the patient;
- recommending appropriate interventions;
- providing advice and information to the patient;
- keeping a record of the health assessment, and offering the patient a written report about the health assessment, with recommendations about matters covered by the health assessment; and
- offering the patient’s carer (if any, and if the GP considers it appropriate and the patient agrees) a copy of the report or extracts of the report relevant to the carer.
Practice nurses and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners may assist GPs in performing a health assessment, in accordance with accepted medical practice and under the supervision of the GP. This may include activities associated with:
- information collection, including gathering of patient information for the medical practitioner and the taking and recording of routine measurements; and
- providing patients with information about recommended interventions at the direction of the GP.
All other components of the health assessment must include personal attendance by the GP.
The time needed to undertake the aspects above of the health assessment by the practice nurse or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioner may be added to the time taken by the GP to complete the assessment.
It is important to note that the GP must have appropriate involvement and overall responsibility for the service, with the practice nurse or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioner assisting in accordance with accepted medical practice.
However, the time spent by the GP and the practice nurse or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioner in undertaking the health assessment is only one consideration in determining the most appropriate Medicare health assessment item to use. In deciding which item is most appropriate, the GP should consider the time spent with the patient, the level of complexity of the patient’s presentation and health needs and any assistance provided by a practice nurse or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioner.
The specific requirements of the health assessments are set out in the Health Insurance (General Medical Services Table) Regulation 2014, which is available on-line at ComLaw. The item descriptors and explanatory notes for the items are available at MBS Online. Medical practitioners undertaking the health assessments should familiarise themselves with the requirements set out in these documents.