Report on the 2010 review of the Medicare provider number legislation

Chapter One - Approach to the 2010 Review

Page last updated: 15 November 2012

As the result of the 1996 Commonwealth Budget, there were major changes to the Act to include sections 19AA, 3GA and 3GC. The new sections of the Act, collectively known as the Medicare Provider Number Legislation, were designed to improve the quality of, and access to, patient care for all Australians.

Regular reviews of the Act are legislated and reviews have been conducted every two years between 1999 and 2005. This review examines how the legislation has performed over the five years between 2005 and 2010.

1.1 Objective and scope

The objective of the review was to report on the operation of the Medicare Provider Number Legislation contained under sections 19AA, 3GA and 3GC of the Act. In accordance with s19AD(1) of the Act, the Minister must table a report to Parliament about the operation of the Medicare Provider Number Legislation by 31 December 2010.

The scope of the 2010 Review is the operation of the legislation over the past five years (2005–2010).

For s3GC, the scope is the effectiveness of the MTRP in meeting its statutory requirements. The MTRP’s work plan and governance were reviewed in 2008-09 and hence are not being covered by this review.

1.2 Terms of reference

The review was to ensure all relevant stakeholder organisations are engaged and have the opportunity to present their views; and that the findings and recommendations of the review are based on a systematic and balanced assessment of these views and other available evidence.

The terms of reference are to review and report on

  • the operation of the Medicare Provider Number Legislation contained under sections 19AA, 3GA and 3GC of the Act to facilitate tabling of a report in Parliament
  • the progress towards addressing the recommendations of the 2005 Biennial Review
  • any issues emerging since the 2005 Biennial review that impact on the way the legislation now operates, or any issues that have arisen as the result of recommendations made by the 2005 Biennial Review.

1.3 Document review

As part of the preparation of the review framework submissions from six key stakeholders were reviewed, with a further two submissions being received in November 2010 and 37 submissions via an electronic form submission process (see Table 1.1 and Appendix 1).

1.4 Consulting with the sector

Stakeholders were given a choice about how they wanted to contribute to the review. They could give feedback during a structured interview, as an electronic (survey) submission or by attending a workshop. These methods were chosen to ensure the data were collected efficiently, while giving stakeholders the opportunity to contribute to the review.

Consultation methods are summarised in Table 1.2, and a list of participants across all methods is included in Appendix 1.

Table 1.1: List of submissions received

OrganisationDate received
National Association for Medical Deputising Services21 October 2010
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners15 October 2010
Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine15 October 2010
Australian Medical Association, Council of Doctors in Training22 October 2010
Melbourne Medical Deputising Service20 October 2010
Remote Vocational Training Scheme Ltd19 October 2010
Australian Medical Association16 November 2010
Australian General Practice Network23 November 2010

Note: The AMA’s submission is public and is available from the Australian Medical Association website (external)

Other documents reviewed were:

  • Biennial Review of the Medicare Provider Number Legislation, December 2005
  • Record of Proceedings Special Meeting held on Friday, 24 February 2006 to discuss the report of the 2005 Biennial Review of the Medicare Provider Number Legislation.
  • MTRP Review Background and Issues Paper For Consultation with the MTRP and Selected Industry Stakeholders.
  • MTRP Review Report: Report on Consultation Feedback and Findings, April 2009.
  • 3GA Program Guidelines: Approved Private Emergency Department Program; Special Approved Placements Program (SAPP) (2003); AMDSs Program (2007).

Table 1.2: Summary of consultation methods

Consultation methodPurposeResponses received
Initial written submissions (before 29 October 2010)Identify issues to focus the reviewSix submissions
Initial scoping interviewsIdentify issues to focus the reviewFive interviews (DoHA, s3GA managers)
Initial meeting with MTRPDiscuss review framework and issues
Telephone/ face-to-face interviews/ group discussionDiscuss issues in detail65 participants
Electronic submissionsDiscuss issues in detail37 responses in total, comprising APEDP n=2; AMDS n=3; MTRP n=30; SCTP n=2
Final written submissions (after 29 October 2010)Discuss issues in detailTwo submissions
Stakeholder forumDiscuss findings, get consensus about importance of findings and refine recommendations15 stakeholders