PSR Newsletter, July 2021
Welcome to the July 2021 edition of the quarterly PSR Panel Newsletter.
Agency activity summary for the quarter
In the period from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021 the Agency received 19 new requests (including 2 practitioner who had previously been referred). The Agency finalised 16 requests. This comprised:
- 11 effective section 92 agreements
- 3 effective final determinations
- 2 section 91 ‘no further action’ outcomes
A total of $4,696,619.00 in repayment directions were made from the finalised matters. Of the finalised matters, 13 involved some form of disqualification.
In this period 2 new peer review Committees were established and 8 practitioners were referred to AHPRA either due to significant patient safety concerns or non-compliance with professional standards.
New appointments to the PSR Panel
The following appointments were made to the PSR Panel in the last quarter:
- Associate Professor Celia Chen
- Dr Anita Tandon
- Dr David Wiesenfeld
The process is currently underway to appoint some additional panel members in new specialties.
Advertising for all statutory appointments
PSR has commenced the process for Panel appointments for medical practitioners and allied health professionals for a 5 year appointment term commencing June 2022.
Current Panel members with terms expiring in 2022 will be invited to re-apply.
An advertisement has been placed in The Australian newspaper seeking applicants. New applications for appointment will also be considered.
If you are interested in applying for the Panel, please send your curriculum vitae and a covering letter to the panel and DA email address by 31 August 2021.
Note – If your appointment expiry is not in 2022, you will not need to reapply yet.
PSR has also commenced the process for Determining Authority appointments for a two year term commencing July 2022. An advertisement has been placed in The Australian newspaper seeking applicants for these positions. Current Determining Authority members will be invited to re-apply and new applications for appointment will be considered.
Positions on the Determining Authority include:
- Medical Practitioner
- Community Representative
- Nurse Practitioner
If you are interested in applying for a position on the Determining Authority, please send your curriculum vitae and a covering letter to the panel and DA email address by 31 August 2021.
General Information on appointments:
PSR will be looking for additional female practitioners to appoint to further improve the gender balance of our Panel and Determining Authority.
All practitioners that apply for a statutory appointment must be an Australian Citizen and be currently engaged in clinical practice (with the exception of the community representative for the Determining Authority).
While there is currently no limit on the number of practitioners the Minister can appoint to the Panel, there is no need for multiple people to be appointed to each position on the Determining Authority so appointment numbers are limited.
All statutory appointments are remunerated in accordance with the determination made by the Remuneration Tribunal of Australia – Remuneration Tribunal (Remuneration and Allowances for Holders of Part-Time Public Office) Determination 2020.
More information on the duties for the Panel and Determining Authority are available on the PSR website.
Advertising for Medical Consultant (Medical Officer Class 4)
PSR is currently seeking a consultant at the Medical Officer Class 4 level to assist the Director of PSR with her duties under Part VAA of the Health Insurance Act 1973.
The Medical Officer will report to the Director and assist with duties including:
- reviewing case records of persons under review (PURs)
- meeting with PURs which will involve interstate travel
- assisting the Director to review submissions
- assisting the Director to meet with stakeholders
The appointee must have:
- a current AHPRA registration as a practising medical practitioner
- fellowship of a recognised College
- substantial experience in billing and prescribing under the MBS and PBS
Desirable qualities include involvement in teaching, research and representation within the profession, and experience with key stakeholders of PSR is also preferred.
This half-time role is based in Canberra.
If you are interested in this role, please send an updated CV and covering letter to the recruitment email address. Applications will close 31 August 2021.
PSR was scheduled to appear at Senate Estimates in May. However, due to the Community Affairs Committee running over time in review of the national vaccination program, aged care and other areas, the Agency was excused.
Federal budget – Private Hospital Initiative
A new measure was announced in the Federal budget to utilise the peer review capability of the PSR Scheme to review cases where significant disputes emerge between private insurers, patients and practitioners in relation to certification for hospital care. PSR will work with the Department of Health, Australian Medical Association and other stakeholders on this policy measure. It is anticipated that only a small number of cases would require PSR involvement.
Review of administrative procedures
PSR will work with the Department of Health and Australian Medical Association to review its processes. An external expert in administrative law will be engaged to conduct the review and speak with stakeholders.
Federal Court outcomes in the last quarter
Yoong v The Chief Executive Medicare & Director of PSR  FCA 701
Dr Yoong challenged the decision of the delegate of the Chief Executive Medicare (CEM) to request the Director of PSR to review his provision of services. He also challenged the decision of the Director to conduct the review. The question was whether Dr Yoong was owed procedural fairness by the delegate of the CEM, and if so, whether this had been adequately provided.
The Court dismissed Dr Yoong’s application, finding that the requisite process had been properly complied with by both the CEM and the Director of PSR.
The Department of Health and PSR were awarded costs.
PSR publishes a monthly summary of case outcomes on its website. Each summary provides some idea of the person under review's practice profile (in comparison to their peers) and this helps understand why they were referred to PSR for review. In addition, the summaries detail the items investigated, the findings (in the case of a Committee) or the agreement reached between the person under review and the Director (PSR), and the penalties applied.
The PSR Case outcomes can be found here.