Easyclaim subsidies offered to incentivise integration

Senator Joe Ludwig has announced subsidies totalling $6 million will be made available to parties who design, develop or rollout integrated Medicare Easyclaim solutions. The incentive package was announced at the Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference held in early April, a curious venue for such an announcement given that Easyclaim has no current application in community pharmacies.

According to the Medicare Australia website, the subsidies are being provided to “stimulate development of integrated Medicare Easyclaim solutions.” In its standalone form Easyclaim has only achieved a 1% adoption rate since it was introduced in 2007.

Software vendors pursing grant funding are required to have completed development and rollout of their solution by August 31, a time frame that would appear to be challenging given the two year integration journey undertaken by Health Communication Network (HCN) and Tyro to develop and release the market’s first integrated Easyclaim solution.

Having undergone several months of live testing by selected practices, PracSoft’s integrated Easyclaim solution is now generally available and being rolled out to other HCN customers that wish to utilise the system.

Despite Medicare Australia’s intention to “level the online claiming channel playing field”, some have questioned why Easyclaim is being pursued at all.

Citing the functionality present in the Medicare Online Private Patient Claim system, the intrusive grant funding requirements, and the lack of user demand for this feature, Dr Frank Pyefinch of Best Practice Software indicated that he does not intend to undertake Easyclaim integration work at this time.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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