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Up, up and away: The growth of after-hours MBS claims


de Graaff, B and Nelson, M and Neil, A, Up, up and away: The growth of after-hours MBS claims, Australian Family Physician, 46, (6) pp. 407-411. ISSN 0300-8495 (2017) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2017 The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

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Background: Media reports suggest that growth in urgent, after-hours Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) claims has coincided with an increasing number of after-hours medical deputising services (AHMDSs). This article assesses these claims in the context of an increasing presence of AHMDSs.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of MBS claims data for general practitioner (GP) after-hours items from 201011 to 201516 was conducted. The Tasmanian experience is presented as a case study.

Results: The number of claims was greatest for MBS item number 597 (urgent, sociable after-hours consultations), increasing by 170% over the study period. For jurisdictions with dates identified for the introduction of AHMDSs, dramatic growth in per capita claims were observed: 1270% for the Australian Capital Territory, 485% for Tasmania and 150% for the Northern Territory. For Tasmania, no decrease in emergency department presentations was observed.

Discussion: Rapid increases in after-hours claims for MBS item number 597 have coincided with the introduction of AHMDSs in three jurisdictions. The impact on patient outcomes and equitable resource distribution requires attention.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Medicare, after-hours, value in health
Research Division:Economics
Research Group:Applied economics
Research Field:Health economics
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the health sciences
UTAS Author:de Graaff, B (Dr Barbara de Graaff)
UTAS Author:Nelson, M (Professor Mark Nelson)
UTAS Author:Neil, A (Associate Professor Amanda Neil)
ID Code:117148
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2017-06-01
Last Modified:2018-06-04
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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