News in brief: Have your say on SoC for child heart disease; ACS warning signs campaign success; Nurse practitioner repays $80k after PSR investigation


Have your say on SoC for child heart disease

The Australian National Standards of Care for Childhood-onset Heart Disease will be available for public consultation later this week.

A letter to the editor of the Journal of Pediatrics and Child Health said the standards will “embed excellence in comprehensive care for all Australian patients (both children and adults) and families whose health journey has involved heart disease with onset in childhood, both congenital or acquired.”

They are the first initiative of the National Strategic Action Plan for Childhood Heart Disease.

“With a Lead Principle of Living Well for all Australians impacted by CoHD throughout their lives, the Standards of Care for CoHD will guide the best practice for quality care and sustainable services for consumers (patients, families and carers), health-care providers and health service planners with regard to the structure and delivery of services now and in the future.”

Read more on the Standards from 30 October.


ACS warning signs campaign success

A national mass media campaign, Warning Signs, between 2009 and 2013 has led to improvements in emergency department presentations for ACS and increased use of emergency medical services (EMS) in Victoria.

The National Heart Foundation campaign was associated with an 11% increase in ED for ACS, and a 10% increase in emergency medical services (EMS) use. Presentations via local doctors also decreased.

The increased use of EMS was also sustained for the following two years.

The study found men, younger adults (20–44 yrs and 45–64 yrs), overseas-born residents, residents who required an interpreter and residents who live outside of a major city were significantly less likely to arrive directly by EMS.

Living alone was associated with an increased odds of EMS arrival.

The study said that given the large expense associated with mass media campaigns, the NHFA was unlikely to run such a large national campaign in the near future.

“Focusing public education on regions at high-risk of ACS and with low EMS use may be a better use of funding and resources.”

Read more in openheart


Nurse practitioner repays $80k after PSR investigation

Nurse practitioners have not escaped the scrutiny of the Medicare claims watchdog, the Professional Services Review (PSR), with one practitioner receiving a reprimand and agreeing to repay $80,000 to Medicare for inappropriate claims for long consultations.

The PSR’s update for September 2021 reports an investigation it mounted into claims made by an un-named nurse practitioner who was the highest ranked provider nationally of MBS item 82215.

The item covers consultations over 40 minutes for the purposes of taking an extensive history; undertaking clinical examination; arranging necessary investigations; implementing a management plan and providing appropriate preventive health care.

According to the PSR, the investigation revealed concerns that the MBS requirements were not always met, “as the clinical input and complexity of the service was not consistent with at least 40 minutes of clinical input being provided, as required by the MBS item descriptor and the practitioner’s records were not always adequate or contemporaneous.”

The PSR also had concerns that the nurse practitioner’s handwritten records were extremely difficult to read and did not reflect that nursing processes were followed.

“In some cases no record for the date of service could be identified in the patient record,” it noted.

The nurse practitioner acknowledged having engaged in inappropriate practice in connection with rendering MBS item 82215, received a reprimand from the PSR, agreed to repay $80,000 and was disqualified from providing MBS item 82215 for a period of 12 months.

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