General practice utilisation of Medicare Benefits Schedule items to support the care of older patients: Findings from the REDIRECT study

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Abstract

Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items designed to support the wellbeing of older people may reduce unnecessary emergency department utilisation, however it is unclear to what extent such items are used. This study examined general practitioner (GP) utilisation of these MBS items through an analysis of the Melbourne East Monash General Practice Database (MAGNET), which contains information collected from GP clinics within the inner east Melbourne region. Sociodemographic and MBS claim data were extracted for patients aged ≥75 years attending a GP between 2005 and 2012. Utilisation of 75+ Health Assessments, General Practitioner Management Plans (GPMP), Team Care Arrangements (TCAs) or reviews, or Medication Management Reviews (MMRs) was assessed. There were 12962 (60.6%) patients assigned at least one of the MBS items. The highest level of claiming was for GPMPs (n≤4754; 35.8%) and TCAs (n≤4476; 33.7%), with MMRs having the lowest use (n≤1023; 6.8%). Examination of GP and patient barriers to the uptake of these items is needed, along with a greater understanding as to whether those most at risk of hospitalisation are receiving these services. Strategies that support capacity to implement these items are also required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-58
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Journal of Primary Health
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

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