Pulse+IT Blog

Getting ready for GP co-payments

If, as expected, the government introduces a $7 co-payment for bulk-billed patients in tomorrow's budget, how do you think this will affect general practice workflow and IT configuration?

There has been no detail provided by the government describing how the co-payment will be administered, with the Sydney Morning Herald's Peter Hartcher perhaps the only reporter who has received answers to these sorts of questions.

“Under Peter Dutton’s plan, the Medicare rebate paid to the GP would fall by some $5 to offset the new copayment,” Hartcher wrote on Saturday. “So that would be a saving to the federal budget of some $600-700 million a year. But the GP would get to keep the other $2.”

What that seems to suggest is that the $7 will not be sent to Medicare, but retained by the practice. Hartcher says GPs will be able to waive the $7 charge in cases of hardship, however this scenario would presumably leave the practice $5 worse off when compared with current bulk billing arrangements.

He also suggests that the new fee will apply from the first of July next year, allowing time for the change to be bedded down.

Submissions to the PCEHR review panel

As several submissions to the panel charged with reviewing the PCEHR have now become public, Pulse+IT has compiled a table of documents from expert groups and industry organisations who have answered the call for comment.

The deadline for submissions to the PCEHR review panel was Friday, November 22, with the panel due to report back to Health Minister Peter Dutton in mid-December.

This table will be updated as new submissions are released, and we've also provided as an extra resource links to previous submissions made by the various organisations. These include the calls for public comment on the draft PCEHR concept of operations in 2011 and the 2012 Senate Community Affairs Committee inquiry into the legislation for the PCEHR Act.

If your organisation has made a submission to the review panel, feel free to email it to us for inclusion in this table at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We also encourage readers to comment on these submission below or to contact us with your views directly.

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