Add us to the MBS: PSA

The recommendation to add pharmacists to the list of eligible allied health professionals to access Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items, for medication management services for patients with complex care requirements, is an important investment in the safe and effective use of medicines, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) said.
The Allied Health Reference Group of the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce has released a consultation document with a recommendation to establish an item to allow pharmacists to provide medication management services to patients with complex care requirements.
PSA National President Dr Chris Freeman says this recommendation, along with those made by the General Practice and Primary Care Clinical Committee to remunerate non-doctor health professionals to participate in case conferencing, will go a long way in supporting pharmacists to be better integrated with other healthcare providers in primary care.
“We have known for a long time that there are financial and structural impediments to pharmacist involvement in case conferencing, and these recommended changes will help overcome those barriers,” Dr Freeman said.
“These recommendations are a major leap forward, empowering pharmacists to practise to the full extent of their expertise and provide the best possible care for their patients.
“The recommendations could not be more timely, following on from PSA’s Medicines Safety report that revealed the extent of harms caused by medicines misuse in Australia and highlighted the need for pharmacists to be embedded wherever medicines are used.
“PSA has advocated over many years to diversify remuneration to reflect pharmacists’ extensive expertise and contribution to Australia’s health. Pharmacists have been calling for access to the MBS to reflect their skills, training and experience for longer than many of us can remember.
“PSA has advocated for pharmacists to be included in the list of eligible allied health practitioners and we have delivered this positive recommendation.
“In our 2019-20 Pre-budget submission we urged the government to add pharmacists to the list of eligible allied health professionals that can deliver MBS services to patients with chronic diseases under the allied health chronic disease management items. We have now made this a reality,” Dr Freeman said.

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