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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 2007/02/07 - A study highlighting the importance of integrating dietitian practitioners’ services into the Allied Health Services program, in order to give the public a more rounded healthcare system, has been published by Blackwell Publishing. NYSE: JWa, JWb
Dietitians in private practice are now leading the way in the implementation of a national allied health program.
A study highlighting the importance of integrating dietitian practitioners’ services into the Allied Health Services program, in order to give the public a more rounded healthcare system, has been published by Blackwell Publishing in the March 2007 issue of Nutrition & Dietetics – the official Journal of the Dietitians Association of Australia, including the Journal of the New Zealand Dietetic Association.
With Medicare Australia’s recognition of the importance of dietetic services, eligible patients with chronic illness living in the community have, since July 2004, received a Medicare rebate for visits to private practicing dietitians when referred by their GP.
Researchers from the Monash Institute of Health Services Research examined Victorian dietitians’ participation experiences of the Medicare-funded ‘Enhanced Primary Care’ (EPC) program. The data collected supports the view that doctors and dietitians must collaborate in order to effectively provide patient support in the area of dietary advice and encouragement. An insufficient integration of GP and dietitian services may result in patients receiving inadequate, or none, of these essential support services.
Lead author and Accredited Practising Dietitian Robyn Cant said, “There is an ongoing debate among dietitians in private practice about the limitations of the Medicare program imposed by low fee rebates and very limited number of possible patient consultations. Some choose not to provide services under the Medicare program due to these constraints. Many choose not to offer bulk-billing for patients, therefore patients have to pay a fee gap.”
Although positive steps have been taken to enable the development of such the EPC program, more needs to be done to optimize the skills that dietitians offer by properly funding their engagement with clients and managing their collaboration with GP’s. With the number of private dietitians working with patients under Medicare only set to increase, the need for information sharing between professional groups about chronic disease management becomes even more vital.
Co-author Dr. Rosalie Aroni added, “Evaluation of dietetics interventions under the EPC program is urgently needed to better understand the types of patients most likely to benefit from the scheme. A new practice model may also need to be developed- given the program’s current constraints”.
This paper is published in the March 2007 issue of Nutrition & Dietetics (Vol. 64, Issue 1). Media wishing to receive a PDF or further information should contact Alina Boey, Public Relations Asia at 613-83591046.
About Nutrition & Dietetics
Nutrition & Dietetics is Australia’s leading peer-reviewed journal in its field. Covering all aspects of food, nutrition and dietetics, the Journal provides a forum for the reporting, discussion and development of scientifically credible knowledge related to human nutrition and dietetics. Widely respected in Australia and the rest of the world, Nutrition & Dietetics publishes original research, methodology analyses, commentaries and viewpoints, research reviews, book reviews and much more. Nutrition & Dietetics is the scientific journal of the Dietitians Association of Australia including the Journal of the New Zealand Dietetic Association.
About Blackwell Publishing
Blackwell Publishing is the world’s leading society publisher, partnering with 665 medical, academic, and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 800 journals and has over 6,000 books in print. The company employs over 1,000 staff members in offices in the US, UK, Australia, China, Singapore, Denmark, Germany, and Japan and officially merged with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.'s Scientific, Technical, and Medical business in February 2007. Blackwell’s mission as an expert publisher is to create long-term partnerships with our clients that enhance learning, disseminate research, and improve the quality of professional practice.