The AMA today welcomed the first formal agreement to deliver a fast, efficient new electronic claiming and payment system, heralding the move as a win for patients and doctors alike.
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has become the first organisation to sign up to deliver the new system, which will allow patients to receive Medicare rebates immediately after paying the doctor's bill.
The Chairman of AMA's Expert Advisory Committee on Information Technology, Dr Peter Garcia Webb, said the simple, streamlined system was developed in close consultation with the AMA.
"The Government and the AMA have worked together to develop this initiative over the past three years," Dr Garcia Webb said.
"We believe it's a strong system that will deliver significant benefits for both patients and doctors.
"Patients will receive their Medicare rebate directly into their bank account, immediately after paying their bill.
"Doctors who bulk bill will be able to access their Medicare payments overnight, compared with the current wait of up to two weeks.
"They will also be able to verify a patient's Medicare eligibility and concession status.
"Importantly, the new system will result in no additional costs for either patients or doctors."
Further work is needed to integrate the electronic payment and claiming system with existing medical practice technology, Dr Garcia Webb said.
"The AMA urges all potential electronic claiming system providers to pursue the issue of system integration with software providers, as a priority," he said.
"We also urge all medical practices to implement integrated software into their practices as soon as it becomes available."