Australian Journal of Primary Health Australian Journal of Primary Health Society
The issues influencing community health services and primary health care

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

GP utilisation of MBS items to support the care of older patients: findings from the REDIRECT study

Lyle Turner , Christopher Pearce , Bianca Brijnath , Colette Browning , Judy Lowthian , Marianne Shearer , Danielle Mazza


Background: Older patients are increasingly attending emergency departments, with patients often suffering from complex and chronic conditions. Utilising MBS items designed to support the wellbeing of older people in general practice (GP) can reduce such acute care utilisation, though it is unclear to what extent such items are used. This study examined GP utilisation of these MBS items that support the management of older patients. Method: We utilised MAGNET, a database containing information collected from GP clinics within the inner east Melbourne region. Sociodemographic and MBS claim data were extracted for patients aged ≥75 years attending between 2005 and 2012. Utilisation of 75+ Health Assessment, General Practice Management Plan (GPMP)/Team Care Arrangement (TA) or review, or Medication Management Review (MMR) was assessed. Results: There were 12,962 (60.6%) patients aged ≥75 years for whom GPs assigned at least one of the MBS items. The highest level of claiming was for GPMPs (4,754; 35.8%) and TCAs (4,476; 33.7%). MMRs had the lowest usage out of all MBS items, with 1,023 (6.8%) of patients having the item claimed. Conclusions: Utilisation by GPs of MBS items designed to support healthcare of older patients remains low. Examination of GP and patient barriers to uptake of these items is needed, as well as a greater understanding as to whether those most at risk of hospitalisation are receiving these services. Strategies that support GP’s capacity to implement these items are also required.

PY17047  Accepted 29 August 2017

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