As part of the national health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Government has rolled out new temporary Medicare Benefit Scheme (MBS) ‘telehealth’ items. The purpose of these item numbers is to enable patients to receive essential health care during the pandemic whilst reducing the community transmission of COVID-19. At this stage, the item […]
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INSIGHT: A reminder on section 130 of the National Law: notify the National Boards of ‘certain events’, or face a possible finding of unprofessional conduct
Most registered health practitioners are aware of the obligation to notify the National Board of certain events should they occur. These requirements are set out in section 130 of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009 (the “National Law”). However, we have recently seen an ‘uptick’ in the number of disciplinary decisions which have […]
INSIGHT: Professional Services in New South Wales – approval is required
Professional services rooms are defined in Schedule 5F of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) (National Law) as “premises in or on which a person carries on a pharmacy business that involves only – the preparation and packaging of drugs, or the packaging of drugs, by or under the personal supervision of a pharmacist, […]
INSIGHT: Bushfire Emergency Declaration
The Privacy (Australian Bushfires Disaster) Emergency Declaration (No 1) 2020 came into force on 20 January 2020 in response to bushfires in Australia resulting in death, injury and property damage occurring from August 2019 into 2020. The Emergency Declaration will expire on 20 January 2021. The Emergency Declaration was made under Part VIA of Privacy […]
INSIGHT: AHPRA releases revised Guidelines for Mandatory Notifications about registered health practitioners
On 21 February 2020, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) released revised guidelines in anticipation of changes to mandatory notification requirements coming into effect in March 2020. The revised guidelines explain the requirements to make mandatory notifications under the updated legislative requirements for treating registered health practitioners, non-treating registered health practitioners, employers of registered […]
INSIGHT: Audio and Video Records – are they legal?
It may seem an easier way in this technologically savvy world we inhabit, to simply record information or other data about patients, either by audio or visual means. This is attractive as records are correct and comprehensive and may be utilised in the defence of any complaint. However, there are legalities surrounding such records and […]
INSIGHT: Owing prescriptions – are you courting danger?
Most pharmacists will have been asked to dispense prescription-only medicines to patients who do not have a valid prescription. Although Pharmacy Dispensing Software (PDS) allows for the processing and supply of medicines without a valid prescription, thereby creating an ‘owing’, there is no legislation that provides for this. Pharmacists assisting their patients should familiarise themselves […]
INSIGHT: Payroll tax clampdown on healthcare clinic operators
In recent times, there has been a strong focus by revenue authorities on tax compliance by health service providers including operators of medical, dental, optometry and other allied health clinics. Payroll tax compliance in particular has been in the spotlight. In the recent decision of Commissioner of State Revenue V The Optical Superstore Pty Ltd […]
INSIGHT: Electronic Prescriptions
Amendments to the National Health (Pharmaceutical Benefits) Regulations 2017, published on 30 October 2019 provide for electronic prescriptions to be recognised as valid prescriptions. Electronic prescribing provides an option for prescribers and their patients to have an electronic prescription as an alternative to a paper-based prescription. The legislation includes additional form requirements for electronic PBS […]
INSIGHT: You have received a notification – what now?
The practice of pharmacy is highly regulated and modern society is becoming increasingly litigious. With that in mind, pharmacists should anticipate that they may be contacted by a statutory authority or investigator at some stage during their careers. In 2017-18, 1.9% of pharmacists in Australia were the subject of notification to AHPRA. Common statutory authorities […]
INSIGHT: What happens to healthcare complaints in Western Australia?
The Health and Disability Services Complaints Office (HaDSCO) handles complaints about health, disability and mental health services in Western Australia. Consumers of health services in Western Australia can make complaints about individuals or organisations that provide health, disability or mental health services . ‘Health services’ encompasses complaints about health services provided by: Medical practices, medical […]