Friday, October 22, 2010

Medicare funding from 1 November 2010 ?

Some midwives and maternity consumers are waiting eagerly for the ability to claim Medicare payments for private midwifery services. A previous post gave the link to the Medicare fee schedule, and discussion on the required signed collaborative arrangement with one or more doctors that must be in place for a midwife to apply for a Medicare provider number.

To search for the legislative instruments go to the Commonwealth Government site.

This is a brief status update. With only a week until 1 November, we are wondering how it's progressing.

It appears that Medicare is ready to give midwives provider numbers and to rebate midwives' fees, AHPRA is not. It appears that AHPRA does not yet have a process up and running to proceed with applications for notation as an eligible midwife.

The optimists among us suppose that women will be able to back-claim from November 1 for Medicare. We will be interested to see what happens there.

We have been advised not to use the application form for notation as an eligible midwife on the AHPRA website as it needs to be amended – does not fit the criteria for eligibility. Will be re-loaded in a few weeks …

Remember the signed collaborative arrangement between an eligible midwife and one or more doctors, which is a mandated part of the provision of Medicare for midwifery services. Many midwives believe this law (Determination) denies the midwife's right to practise on her own authority, and potentially allows a doctor to veto the professional agreement between a midwife and a woman in her care. See the Australian Private Midwives Association (APMA) statement on the Collaborative Agreement.

Much more could be written, but it's Friday afternoon and my mind is tired. I hope this update is of use to some of our readers.

Midwives wishing to apply for a Medicare Provider Number can access information and forms at the Medicare website.

1 comment:

Joy Johnston said...

We know of one midwife who has been declared 'eligible' by the Nursing & Midwifery Board