Additional advice for GPs regarding the provision of medical information re DSP

9 Jun 2016

In response to AMA enquiries on behalf of its members, the Department of Human Services (DHS) has provided advice regarding remuneration arrangements when DHS seeks additional information directly from a doctor as part of an assessment process for the Disability Support Pension. This advice should clarify for practitioners that remuneration is available, where appropriate, and that the Department has the authority to seek additional information when required.

The Department advises that, since the 2010 introduction of the Health Professional Advisory Unit (HPAU), it has discretion to seek clarification or further medical evidence from a person’s Treating Health Professional (THP). From 1 January 2015, this discretion was extended to provide for a Government-contracted doctor conducting a Disability Medical Assessment to contact a recipient’s THP to clarify or obtain medical evidence. The Department may offer to remunerate the THP where appropriate.

The current fee structure is $150 for a written report or $80 for a verbal report. Practitioners are free to use their discretion as to whether to seek remuneration or not. Where practitioners feel it is appropriate to do so they should advise the requesting officer accordingly.

Information regarding the Disability Medical Assessment, including payment to THPs, where applicable, can be located in the Guide to Social Security Law http://guides.dss.gov.au/guide-social-security-law/1/1/d/180.