My Health Record opt-out period to start by September

The three-month period in which people will be able to opt out of the My Health Record is still not yet decided but it will start before September 1, Department of Health officials say.

And contrary to some erroneous media reports, there will be a paid advertising campaign to support the initiative, backed by a communications strategy aimed at healthcare providers.

Posted in Australian eHealth

Tags: My Health Record, Australian Digital Health Agency, Senate estimates

Comments   

# Glenn Rosendahl 2018-03-04 10:41
QUESTION 1: COMPLEXITY
I quote:
“Evidence from the opt-out trials conducted in late 2016 shows the messaging is complex and consumers want to receive information from trusted sources like GPs and pharmacists,” Mr Kelsey said.
So… ‘the messaging is complex’. Does this admit the matter itself is complex? How does one present a complex matter to the ‘run of the mill’ spectrum of patients?

QUESTION 2: THE IRRATIONALITY OF PROJECTED TIMING
I quote:
“If no decision is made in the meantime it would commence on the second of September,” she said. “We are expecting the middle of the year but the rule provides that it commences on that date, if not before…”
“This is why the agency has contracted all primary health networks to deliver training and education to all GPs and pharmacists nationally by the end of 2018.”
2. It is ludicrous - non-sensical - that GPs and pharmacists are to be educated ‘by the end of 2018’, but the 3 month opt out period may start well before Sept 2018, and therefore finish well before then.

QUESTION 3: THE ABSENCE OF INFORMATION
I quote:
“The agency will produce an evidence-based, public communications approach to inform every Australian about My Health Record and how to opt out if they would like.”
“The communications campaign will also involve clinical and consumer groups such as the RACGP, the AMA, the Pharmacy Guild, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Consumers Health Forum as well as all of the primary health networks and the state and territory health departments.”
I have not seen any educational material from the local ‘Area Health Network’ directed to me, or through me to my patients. There is nothing being published by pharmacies - on their shopfronts - to the public. I see these lacks as a big ‘problem that need to be resolved’.

QUESTION 4: PAYMENT FOR WORK PERFORMED
a.If the matter is complex, and will require my time spent with (each of) my individual patients, am I to be paid for that time? Medical students are being told that the standard GP consultation time is 6 minutes. The traditional GP consult was 15 minutes - 4 patients an hour. At that rate, with 35% taken out of the item 23 fee for ‘running the practice’, the GP’s share is $25. $100 per hour, $700 per day, $140,000 per year - gross, including super, before tax. One has to make much more than that. To finally concede that a GP can charge a level C if one runs over 20 minutes is not being generous, it is an insult. Yes, that is $140 per hour, but 19 minutes is $79 an hour, $552 a day, a rate of $110,000 a year gross, including super and all professional and educational costs, before tax. If one is audited, consult duration is explicitly examined.

b. Yes, there are other sources of income, both related to the MHR and unrelated to it. But if they are to be cited, can someone please compute and declare their reasonable yearly quantum, and the reasonable proportion of that quantum that will go to the GP as his or her gross remuneration.

The financial cost to the GP of the time to be spent discussing ‘opt in - opt out’ is a significant impost.

c. If one has (as is disclosed) the responsibility of opening the MHR and keeping the ‘health summary’ updated - that will also take time. There will be a continuing time impost.

QUESTION 5: IMPLICATIONS FOR FUNDING OF THE ‘MY HEALTH HOME’
In the near future, the time spent in maintaining the records of patients admitted to the ‘My Health Home’ and updating compliance and performance data to the Area Health Network will be substantial. Initial periodic capitation payment quanta for performing these services, as well as for providing the clinical care, have been published. No attempt has been made (with formal projections of accounting data) to justify these quanta as adequate. They appear to be ‘off the cuff’. Having accepted a financial impost for ‘enrolling’ patients in their ‘My Health Record’, GPs may find themselves financially even worse off, once having enrolled them in their practice’s ‘My Health Home’.

REPRISE
What I have raised above is important, possibly critical. I believe I can see that patients have already been asked if they will opt-out, and they have decided to do so. When the formal ‘opt-out’ choice is made available, those decisions will be immediate and automatic. The ethical question then, as now, will be on the matter of confidentiality . And the GP saves his, or her, time.

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