OAA asks members to take part in study to determine eye-care costs

Such participation will become a key tool in OAA’s “ongoing advocacy for fairer runeration under Medicare”, the association said in a broadcast ail received by mbers on 27 May.
OAA’s ail went on to say: “Given recently-announced federal budget measures, this information is more important than ever and will be used in OAA’s discussions with government on its budget decisions that reduce Medicare rebates for optometric services.
“All practice owners or principals with a fixed practice address are invited to participate in a survey being undertaken on our behalf by Kilham Consultants Pty Limited. Survey questions centre on understanding how many services your practice provided in the 2012-13 year and seek data on costs incurred in rendering those services.”
The ail said a cost-mapping tool has been developed to assist mbers complete the survey as quickly and accurately as possible (see box), and it is estimated completing the cost mapping tool and survey will take most optometrists 30-40 minutes.
OAA is seeking floor mbers’ participation following the decision of the federal government, as announced in the 2014-15 federal budget on 13 May, to extend the time between optometrical consultations claimable under Medicare from two to three years; to reduce the bulk-billing rebate from 85 to 80 per cent; and to freeze schedule fees for optometrical consultations for two years.
As a concession in the face of the above, the government has agreed to OAA’s request in its lengthy lobbying to rove the cap on fees optometrists may charge, effective from January 2015.
The only realistic hope for changes to any of the above is if the Senate, as part of its determination to obstruct certain parts set out in the budget, will reject those parts affecting optometrists. However that is considered to be unlikely.
OAA, in its 27-May ail, said Kilham Consulting will hold all individual responses in strict confidence and will report aggregated data only to OAA.
Kilham Consulting is based in Melba, ACT and specialises in business coaching, managent advice and merchandising consulting services.

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