It is well known that our Practice is ready and able to use the PCEHR but that we are unwilling to proceed with this given numerous concerns with the current system.
Yesterday the Health Minister announced a set of changes that is being implemented – some of these are extremely concerning.
I will highlight some off the changes:
- Rename the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) to My Health Record (MyHR).
- All functions are essentially taken over by the Department of Human Services. This includes the clinical aspects so once again we have a group of bureaucrats and Public Service employed doctors telling those of us in the private sector how we should run our clinics.
- Transition to an ‘opt-out’ model for all Australians on their MyHR to be effective from a target date of 1st January 2015.
- Notify the consumer via an SMS message when their MyHR is opened or used by default.(I can just see how we will have to “please explain” to patients everytime we have opened a file for administrative purposes and they get a SMS as a result)
- Linking ongoing ePIP funding to actual usage of the MyHR.(Currently we only have to be able to use the system – this attempts to force us to use it or otherwise pay a financial penalty)
AND THEN FOR THE COUP de GRACE:
- Alter the Medicare Item number requirements from January 1st 2015, for health assessments comprehensive assessments, mental health care plans, medication management reviews and chronic disease planning items to require a copy of the information to be uploaded to the MyHR
(My understanding is that the EPC items and MHPs will therefore not be available for patients unless they, and their doctor take part in the MyHR system)