New training helps maximise MBS opportunities for chronic disease care

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With Australia emerging from pandemic crisis mode, primary health providers are returning their focus to chronic disease management (CDM) and preventive health. However, many general practices are not accessing available revenue due to a limited understanding of MBS billing provisions for CDM.

To help practices achieve better patient outcomes and improve their bottom lines, Larter Consulting have a new training program covering opportunities for improving opportunistic screening for chronic conditions. That is, earlier diagnosis and earlier intervention.

Mario Gupta, Larter’s Primary Health Consultant, explains he speaks to many practices who say they are not financially viable and “unfortunately it’s often due to a lack of education on billing for chronic disease management”.

Wendy O’Meara, an education consultant with Larter who has 24 years’ general practice experience, says that while all GPs are managing patients with chronic disease, many are not being remunerated for it because they don’t know how to use MBS CDM item numbers effectively.

Wendy, who developed the training, recently delivered it to five practices in Gippsland on behalf of Gippsland Primary Health Network, where it was very well received.

Who is the training for?

The training is designed for:

  • Any general practice interested in rebooting their CDM programs or helping current programs generate more income
  • Any practice wanting to introduce CDM.

Why attend the training?

Training is customised to each practice’s requirements and goals, Mario explains. “We ask some questions about what you would like to achieve, which helps us tailor the training. We look at what help your practice needs and how we can assist you to achieve it.”

Benefits from participation in the training include the ability to:

  • Better identify and manage patients with chronic disease and those at risk of poor health outcomes
  • Maximise MBS billing opportunities with a focus on risk and opportunistic screening
  • Receive assistance to establish effective chronic disease management in your practice if needed
  • Optimise the use of practice nurses’ time (Wendy gets many questions about making the best use of primary health nurses)
  • Participate in a quality improvement project that helps you realise the potential of your business while providing better patient care.

What will you learn?

Things you can expect to learn from the training include how to:

  • Identify potential opportunities for claimable screening and health assessments and improve early risk identification for better patient care
  • Engage patients to participate in chronic disease management
  • Maximise your nurses’ time through chronic disease management
  • Engage your GPs to refer patients to the practice nurses running CDM programs
  • Educate and inspire your whole team about the part they play in meeting patient needs
  • Find a champion to drive momentum (Mario explains that successful implementation requires one person who understands chronic disease management and pushes the agenda with the team)
  • Increase your income based on unclaimed MBS items.

How it works

Here’s what the training program pathway looks like.

  1. Questionnaire – we will send you a questionnaire to help us customise the training to your needs.
  2. Training development – we will develop a personalised training program to fulfill the needs identified in your questionnaire. This will include an analysis of your current MBS CDM billing and utilisation of nurse time. Where possible, remote login access for a desktop analysis helps us design the program.
  3. Training delivery – our experienced educator will spend a day training your practice manager, doctors, practice nurses and administration team.
  4. Report – you will receive a thorough report outlining our findings and recommendations.

Boost revenue and achieve better patient outcomes

As Wendy points out, with the pandemic putting chronic disease management on the backburner, patients are crying out for services. This training is not only an opportunity to enhance your practice financially, but to deliver better care for people with chronic disease or at risk of poor health outcomes.

“These patients have been left high and dry over COVID purely because that’s the way it had to be. It’s time to get them back in the clinic and back on track.”

Contact Mary-Anne Quilter, Primary Health Consultant, to discuss commissioning a training program for general practices in your region, or for your general practice.