North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1014: May 6, 2010
eNews is a weekly electronic newsletter sent to all GP practices (with email addresses) within the NEV catchment. The aim is to provide up to date information relevant to GPs and to disseminate the latest activities and resources from the division. All feedback and enquiries welcome and should be addressed to Patty Marshall. You can also visit our website at:
To subscribe to eNews click on subscribe. To be removed from the eNews distribution list click on Unsubscribe


In this issue:

Editorial                                                Lifestyle Modification Programs      

Professional Development                 CPD events   

HMR                                                      PBS increases, The Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement

Immunisation                                       Hepatitis C Cluster Updated Information, Seasonal Flu Vaccine, Extra time to get your ACIR data in           

Information Management                  Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                                  MBS Review item 10992 (after hours), Clarification re item 723 & 732, Reform Update Information, Low vitamin D in Victoria, GP Network News         

News for Practice Staff                       Australian Practice Nurses Association, ANF professional development day         

Women’s Health                                  Intrapartum Management, Monitoring Fertility                   

Positions vacant/wanted                            

Fun stuff                                                        


A Word from the Editor

Lifestyle Modification Programs

The divisional is rolling out a special program between May and the end of November this year, involving the recruitment and enrolment of patients aged between 40-49 who are “at risk” of developing Type 2 Diabetes into Lifestyle Modification Programs.

So far the division has organised a number of support resources, including:

·        Setting up a number of Lifestyle Modification Programs at various locations across the division

·        Waiting room posters and patient pamphlets

·        Additional copies of the Type 2 Diabetes Risk Assessment Tool

·        New recall and referral forms available for download from our website

In addition the division will:

·        Provide financial assistance for recall mailouts

·        Organise practice visits to further explain the program

More information: contact Noel via email or call 9496 4333


Back to top


Continuing Professional Development

Term 2 GP Lecture Program

Meetings are held each Tuesday starting at 12.30 in the Lecture Theatre, Ground Floor, Pathology Building, Repatriation Hospital, Austin Health, West Heidelberg. Tea and Coffee provided. Course Leader: Dr Vin Nursey Phone: 9457 1736

May 11 - Abdominal Pain & Vomiting in Children - Dr Winita Hardikar 

For full term Tuesday lecture program click here


Paediatric Allergy Update

Saturday May 22nd 9-1pm (8:30am registration) Learning areas include Food allergy – prevention of allergy, intro of solids, differentiating IgE and non-IgE mediated food allergies, interpreting tests, management & referral; Anaphylaxis & prescribing autoinjectors; Eczema; Snotty noses - when is it allergic rhinitis, impact on asthma; Urticaria – differentials, when is it allergy, management & referral. Registration form here.


Introduction to Self Management

A free evening seminar, to introduce GPs and practice nurses to the principles of self management, Wednesday, May 26th 2010, from 6.30-9pm, at Gardenhurst Convention Centre, Essendon North. See registration form for more information or: phone 9347 1188 or email:


Second International Trauma Conference

July 3 - 8 at Millennium Hotel, Queenstown, New Zealand. The conference will include latest concepts and developments in Trauma medicine.  Delegates will participate in workshops, discussion groups and interactive academic sessions. Register via website or email: or Ph: 08 8267 6660


Back to top


Home Medicines Review

PBS increases

PBS figures for March 2010 were released by Medicare Australia over the weekend. Script numbers were slightly down but absolute dollars were slightly up compared to March 2009. 16.7 milion scripts representing a PBS cost of $679 million were included in the March 2010 figures. This compares to 17.25 million scripts ($655 million) for February 2009. In February 2010 14.95 million scripts at a value of $613 million were recorded. Calendar year to date figures show growth in script numbers of 3.7% (53.3 million v 51.4 million) and in dollar terms of 11.2% ($2.18 billion v $1.96 bilion).

Think deprescribing - when appropriate!!

Jenny Gowan - HMR facilitator!    


The Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement

A fact sheet from the Pharmacy Guild indicating the HMR Facilitator program is not being refunded.


Back to top



Hepatitis C Cluster Updated Information

This is to update information contained in the Chief Health Officer alert of 9 April 2010 regarding the hepatitis C cluster associated with the Croydon Day Surgery (CDS).

If women present to you, please either:

a) collect blood at your practice and send to the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory marked "DH hepatitis C lookback", or

b) send the patient to your usual pathology collection service, with a request for hepatitis C antibody and PCR for hepatitis C RNA, and marked "DH hepatitis C lookback". Melbourne Pathology, Dorevitch and Gribbles have agreed that this service will be bulk billed if you mark the request in this way. If you use another laboratory, please contact us and we may be able to make similar arrangements.

For further information please contact the hepatitis C call centre on 1300 365 677.


Seasonal Flu Vaccine

Health Authorities continue to put Seasonal Flu Vaccine on hold for young children. Click here to see the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer Media Statement issued on 30th April 2010.

The TGA, NCIRS and all other players are working very hard to identify if there is something that is causing the apparent increase in febrile convulsions for those under 5 who have been vaccinated with the seasonal flu vaccine this year. The immunisation program has been stopped and the TGA has been asked to report early next week on any developments relating to this program.

The Commonwealth, TGA and NCIRS have requested assistance getting accurate data from practices so they can assume a reasonable baseline for these vaccinations this year.

·        Could practices send all under 7 year old flu data to ACIR ASAP and check to see if it appears on the child's history statement...

·        Could Practices check or ensure the correct vaccine details (Influvac, Fluvax or Vaxigrip and batch no.) are inputting - some software is causing issues here!

·        Practices using Best Practice or MD as their software should double check to see if ALL flu data has gone through to ACIR (there has been quite a few complaints that the flu information stored in Best Practice has not gone through for some reason...)

·        Report all adverse events that occur to SAEFVIC Fax: (03) 9345 4163 online Phone: 1300 882 924. Report forms can be downloaded from DH website


Extra time to get your ACIR data in

There has been a delay in the GPII Recalculation and this will now be run on the 24th May. This means that practices can continue to work on February quarter data until then. So this is an even greater opportunity for your practice to reach 90% coverage and get your Outcomes payment.


Back to top


Information Management

Medical Director Tip - Using the Consultation Timer

On May 1, 2010 new time-based MBS item numbers came into being - 701 (<30 minutes), 703 (30-45 minutes), 705 (45-60 minutes) and 707 (>60 minutes). As nurse and doctor time is counted when making the item number claims you need to document time spent with the patient by both nurses and doctors. The easiest way to do this is to use MD’s Consultation timer. Both doctors and nurses need to be trained to open the patient record in MD at the beginning of the consultation and the record should also be closed once the consultation (or work associated with consultation) ends. You can also pause the consultation timer and restart it when necessary.


This weeks IM problem - Mailmerging lists created by Clinical Audit Tool

Question: I use the PEN Clinical Audit Tool to create lists of patients I wish to recall. I can export these in Excel but is there a way I can get that list back into MD so I can do a mailmerge from within MD’s LetterWriter?

Answer: Unfortunately there is no easy way to do this. No clinical software allows a 3rd party product to write back into it. If anyone knows a way I would be happy to hear from them. For those of you who know how to mailmerge in Word you could use the save Excel patient list.


Back to top


Items of Interest

Important Information on the MBS Review item 10992 (after hours)

AGPN has just been informed by the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) that for administrative reasons, an interim MBS item number will need to be used to claim for certain after-hours items over the next two months as follows:

Between 1 May 2010 and 1 July 2010 doctors claiming the higher bulk-billing incentive for MBS items 597, 598, 599 or 600 will need to use item 10985.  On 1 July doctors should resume using item 10992.  From 1 May 2010, doctors claiming the higher bulk-billing incentive for after hours items 5003-5267 should continue to use item 10992.  Eligible regions remain unchanged. Further information, including the new item descriptor for 10985 is attached.

If you have any enquiries about this matter, please contact Tracy Thompson at DoHA on phone: 02 6289 1938 or email:


Clarification re item 723 & 732 after 1 May 2010

A Team Care Arrangement (TCA) item can be considered complete for the purpose of the GP billing item 723, when the TCA plan prepared by the GP has been sent to the other providers (e.g. sent by fax, mail or encrypted email), with appropriate consent from the patient to do so, but without any requirement for the GP to wait for response from the other providers to indicate their agreement with the plan.

In regards to item 732 - Item 732 can be claimed twice on the same day providing an item 732 for reviewing a GP Management Plan and another 732 for reviewing TCAs are both delivered on the same day as per the MBS item descriptors and explanatory notes. So that would mean the same principle applies to the new item 732, where it relates to a completion of a Review of a TCA.


Reform Update Information

To keep you informed of health reform activities generally, their impact on the Network and the activities that AGPN is undertaking to continue to drive and influence this agenda see Reform Update Bulletin 2. This bulletin provides a further general health reform update with a focus on an overview of the Prime Minister’s recent announcements and the COAG National Health and Hospitals Network Agreement. We have also compiled the following factsheets to provide you with additional information that you can use locally with boards, staff, practices and other stakeholders:

·        Fact sheet 1 provides a snapshot of the key health reform and policy activities that have occurred both within and beyond the Network since the health reform and review activities were set in train.

·        Fact sheet 2 provides an update on AGPN activities in relation to the reform agenda.

·        Fact sheet 3 provides a plain English explanation of PHCOs

·        Fact sheet 4 provides a summary explanation of what PHCOs will mean for GPs and general practice

·        Fact sheet 5 provides a summary of the benefits of PHCOs to consumers and the community


Low vitamin D in Victoria: at risk-populations

As we move into the winter months GPs will start to see more Victorians at risk of low and deficient vitamin D.

Some sun exposure is necessary from May to August in Victoria when UV levels are below 3. SunSmart will be launching their vitamin D awareness campaign with a particular focus on at-risk groups such as people with naturally very dark skin.

To help GPs and their patients SunSmart has a number of vitamin D publications available including a resource specifically targeting health professionals and information sheets in eight languages. All resources can be downloaded here or by calling 03 9635 5148.


GP Network News

This week’s edition includes: Australians want a health system that is built on the family doctor – AMA survey, Caring for patients with chronic and complex care needs – the AMA proposes a better way, Increased registration fees, Suspension of seasonal flu vaccine to children five years and under – update.


Back to top


News for Practice Staff

Australian Practice Nurses Association

This months eNews available here.


ANF professional development day

Practising in a changing health care environment Friday 4 June 2010 at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre South Wharf, Melbourne. Flyer


Back to top


Women’s Health

Intrapartum Management – A Review for the GP*

Tuesday 11th May, 7-9pm (Registration & Refreshments from 6.30pm) Dr Bernadette White, Clinical Director Obstetric and Maternity Services, Mercy Hospital for Women.

Level 4 Mercy Hospital for Women, Heidelberg. Registrations: Merran Mackie 8458 4833 /

Allocated 4 (Category 2) points in the RACGP QA & CPD Program for the 2008-2010 triennium. *Pregnancy related for Shared Maternity Care Reaccreditation.


Monitoring Fertility: Assisting Conception

Seminar on Thursday 13th May will be held at Billings LIFE - Leaders in Fertility Education. 4B/303 Burwood Highway, East Burwood  5.00pm - 9.30pm. For further information contact OMR&RCA on 03 9802 2022.


Back to top


Positions vacant/wanted

Please note: only new ads or resubmitted ads will be posted here. All other ads can be found on the website


Positions vacant


Banyule Community Health - seeks a VR GP, Full or Part time with drug/alcohol/pharmacotherapy experience, to join our long established re-accredited and computerised practice in Heidelberg West. Hours/days are flexible. No weekends. Team support includes Medical Reception, Practice Coordination, Practice Nursing and Mental Health Nursing, also Allied Health, Counselling and Dental services on site.  Contact Meni Stefanovski – Clinical Services Manager, on Tel. 9450 2013, Mob. 0413 018 996 or email


Hurstbridge - Seeking VR GP, Full time or Part time, to join our long established Family Medical Practice in semi-rural type setting. A friendly and professional work environment in this recently re-accredited, computerised medical centre with Allied Health and Nursing staff on site.  Come and smell the fresh air!  Call/email Heather Fisher, Practice Manager, (03) 9718 2611, 0407 355 035 or


Back to top



The difference between a haematologist and a urologist?

A haematologist pricks your finger.


Back to top




And remember


            … Don't join dangerous cults: Practice safe sects.