Life After ROMPS
In our latest blog we look at the impact the removal of the Rural Other Medical Practitioners program (ROMPS) will have on non-VR GPs and medical centres.
What is ROMPS?
The ROMPS program is defined by the Department of Health as ‘providing access to higher Medicare rebates (A1) to non-VR medical practitioners providing general practice services in eligible rural and remote areas.’
What are the changes and when do they take effect?
The Government is reforming Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) item fee arrangements for non-vocationally recognised general practitioners (non-VR GPs).
As a result, no further applications for ROMPS will be accepted from the 1st November 2018.
Under a grandfathering arrangement, doctors who are participating on ROMPs will be given up to 30th June 2023 to fulfil their commitment to obtain fellowship.
This arrangement is only applicable to provider numbers that already have access to the ROMPS program OR have been applied for prior to midnight on the 31st October. A non-VR GP accessing ROMPS in one location will not be able to access ROMPS in a new location, even if they remain on RLRP, if they apply after this date.
Do I still have enough time to apply?
This is dependent on several factors. These include your residency status and the State you are practicing (or planning to practice) in.
There is still time to apply if you are a temporary resident and this is applicable for all states.
Providing you have an offer of employment and can submit the provider number application prior to the 31st October, you will access the higher rebate, providing your provider number application is approved.
Temporary residents meet the requirements of Section 19AA and do not require a place on a Section 3GA approved program.
Permanent Residents and Citizens
This is very much dependent on the State you are practicing in or planning to practice.
As a permanent resident or citizen, you will almost certainly require a place on the Rural Locum Relief Program (RLRP) before moving on to another Section 3GA program.
Each rural workforce agency has their own interpretation of the RLRP guidelines.
In NSW the Rural Doctors Network will require all eligible applications to be submitted by mid-October to give them time to submit the ROMPS application.
In Victoria, RWAV have stated that they will require all applications in by the 1st October to have a chance of being approved and lodged prior to the end of October.
For all other States and Territories, please contact the appropriate workforce agency or primary health network (Northern Territory).
What rates can I access if I cannot apply until after 31st October?
The rates will be determined in the future by the MMM (Modified Monash Model) classification of the location you are practicing and NOT the RRMA classification.
Non-VR GPs providing services in MMM 2–7 locations will be able to access A7 rates. This is approximately 20% less than A1 rates and will impact the income of both the GP and medical centre.
Non-VR GPs will be able to access A1 rates as soon as they;
- achieve vocational registration
- gain a place on a Section 3GA approved training program (RVTS, AGPT or the ACRRM independent pathway)
Although, it is expected that the new RACGP Practice Eligible Program will be approved as a Section 3GA training program, this has yet to be confirmed.
For more information on anything covered in this blog, or to discuss your personal situation in more detail, please contact:
0405 234 852
To view the latest non VR GP Jobs listed with DXC Medical, please click here