Responding to patient requests
The RACGP has published a position statement and downloadable fact sheets for patients and GPs on responding to patient requests for tests not considered clinically appropriate.
Medicare benefits are claimable only for 'clinically relevant' services.
GP pathology requests may be subject to episode coning. This arrangement effectively places an upper limit on the number of items for which Medicare benefits are payable in a patient episode.
For more information on the usage and costs of specific items, see:
Test-specific resources and information
These sites have helpful explanations of specific tests:
- RCPA Manual of Use and Interpretation of Pathology Tests
- Pathology Tests Explained (PTEx; formerly Lab Tests Online)
In addition, the RACGP has published a resource in the Red Book: Screening tests of unproven benefit.
You can also search our table for links to resources on individual tests.
Using the table
Click on a column heading to sort by that column, or start typing in the search box to find the information you need. Swipe left or right to see more of the table if you're on a mobile device.
Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroid function test (TFT)
Thyroid disease: Using diagnostic tools effectively (Australian Journal of General Practice)
Condition-specific resources and information
- Common Sense Pathology: Investigating fatigue
- Fatigue – a rational approach to investigation (Australian Family Physician)
- Pathology testing in the tired patient (Australian Family Physician)
These papers by Australian authors discuss quality use of pathology testing:
- We live in testing times: Teaching rational test ordering in general practice (Australian Family Physician)
- Enhancing patient outcomes through evaluation of the appropriateness and quality use of pathology in general practice: a report to the Department of Health Quality Use of Pathology Program (Macquarie University).
Contacts related to GP pathology requesting
We have advised the following organisations of the project to support improved pathology requesting practices: