The Morrison Government is investing $42.8 million to strengthen the health and well-being of senior Australians living in residential aged care by increasing face-to-face contact with their GP.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said Australians living in residential aged care will now better health care with increased access to their GPs.
“This funding boost provides an additional 120,000 GP services to senior Australians living in aged care facilities,” Minister Hunt said.
“It is part of our $17.7 billion response to the Aged Care Royal Commission. We recognise the importance of improving health care for people in residential aged care and this is essential in ensuring senior Australians are treated with respect, care and dignity.”
This program will support the 244,000 Australians who are in permanent residential aged care.
Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, Richard Colbeck, said the Government is improving residential aged care services by increasing the quality, timeliness and amount of frontline care.
“Senior Australians living in aged care facilities will also benefit by not having to travel to appointments,” Minister Colbeck said.
“The Government is committed to supporting the delivery of high quality and safe residential aged care including regular access to GPs who can monitor and manage health and wellbeing.
Changes are now under way to support the introduction of the additional payment tiers under the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) GP Aged Care Access Incentive.
First payments are expected in the November 2021 quarter for services provided by GPs from 1 July 2021.
The maximum yearly payment that a GP can receive will double to $10,000 through the introduction of additional qualifying service levels and service incentive payments.
GPs will receive increasing and accumulative service incentive payments based on the number of eligible items delivered to patients in a financial year:
- Tier 1a): 60-99 services for $2,000;
- Tier 1b): 100-139 services for $2,500;
- Tier 2a): 140-179 services for $2,500; and
- Tier 2b): 180+ services for $3,000.
- For example, if a GP delivers 100 Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) services to patients in RACFs in 2021/22 (single financial year), they will receive a (total) payment of $4,500 ($2,000 for delivering 60 services + $2,500 for delivering 100 services).
There are no changes to eligibility for ACAI payments. GPs must, as before:
- be registered in the PIP at an approved PIP practice;
- use a Medicare provider number linked to a PIP practice when claiming MBS services in Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs);
- provide eligible MBS services to residents in RACFs; and
- reach the Qualifying Service Level by providing the required number of MBS services in RACFs in a financial year.