PSA furthers pay push


The PSA is again encouraging stakeholders to improve pharmacist remuneration through access to allied health MBS items

PSA national president Dr Christopher Freeman has written to members outlining the Society’s work to increase pharmacy pay – both via the Fair Work Commission, as reported last week, and the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce.

PSA has sent a submission in response to the Allied Health Reference Group of the Taskforce’s recent consultation document, which suggested establishing an item to allow pharmacists to provide medication management services to patients with complex care requirements, among other recommendations.

Dr Freeman says the response contains “a number of proposals to better use existing MBS services by harnessing fully the knowledge, skills and accessibility of pharmacists”. 

“PSA has commented primarily on the Taskforce’s recommendations relating to chronic disease management items, medication management items and access to repeat scripts, as well as other recommendations where pharmacists¹ practice may impact on holistic care of patients,” Dr Freeman told members.

He said that PSA welcomed two key recommendations by the Taskforce, which relate to some of the proposals submitted by PSA:

Allow non-dispensing pharmacists to access allied health items; and

Rebate participation in case conferencing for non-GP health professionals.

“The creation of three new items (15-20 minutes to align with item 747, 20-40 minutes to align with item 750, and >40 minutes to align with item 758) to rebate attendance at a case conference by non-doctor health practitioners is consistent with PSA’s longstanding view that all health professionals must be appropriately compensated for the time spent with patients,” the response notes.

“The availability of these items will undoubtedly reduce the barriers to participation of pharmacists in case conferencing and thereby help improve collaborative care between general practice and community pharmacy.”

 “Our submission highlights that pharmacists are committed to being core members of the healthcare team that delivers high-quality, patient-centred primary care,” Dr Freeman said.

“Integration of pharmacists in collaborative primary care teams will benefit patients through improved access to timely and more seamless care, particularly in relation to the management of chronic diseases as well as medication management.”

In the full response, which can be accessed here, PSA also welcomed the recommendation to link Medication Management Reviews (MMR) to GPMPs and reduce the schedule fee.

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