Purpose

Appendix C provides an analysis of the capacity of existing Medicare items to meet the primary health care needs of children in out-of-home care (OOHC), including the health assessments outlined in the National Clinical Assessment Framework for Children in Out-of-Home care.

Background

In October 2008, the Australian Health Minister’s Advisory Council (AHMAC) agreed that the CHWS of the Australian Population Health Development Principal Committee (APHDPC) would oversee and report to AHMAC on the following work in relation to children and young people entering and in, out of home care:

a) identify and document the clinical health needs of children and young people in out of home care (review of literature);
b) analyse the capacity of existing MBS items to meet the primary healthcare needs of children and young people in out of home care; and
c) consider and advise on a standard national clinical assessment framework to be used with children and young people entering out of home care.

Appropriate Medicare items for each stage of the assessment framework

The National Clinical Assessment Framework for Children and Young People in Out-of-Home Care (OOHC Framework) is based on a tiered approach to age-appropriate assessments covering the key domains of physical health, developmental and psychosocial and mental health.

A large number of Medicare items are appropriate for various aspects of the care of children and young people in out-of-home care.

This guide to Medicare items is based on the tiered assessment structure, with items grouped according to the three phases of the framework:
  • Preliminary health check
  • Comprehensive health and development assessment
  • Ongoing monitoring and assessment
In this document, because of the large number of Medicare items available, a separate component for the development of a Health Management Plan has been included within the Comprehensive Health and Development Assessment section.

The framework recognises that completion of each level of assessment may take more than one visit to a practitioner and should therefore not be equated to a single contact.
Throughout the document, management or treatment items have been included alongside assessment items.

As the list of items is for guidance only, practitioners are advised to check full eligibility criteria at MBS online (http://www.health.gov.au/internet/mbsonline/publishing.nsf/Content/Medicare-Benefits-Schedule-MBS-1). There may be other Medicare items that are suitable at each stage of the assessment and care of children in out-of-home care.