ANZAED recently conducted a pilot survey asking for your experiences with the new eating disorders MBS items. Thank you to all of you who responded. Your participation in the survey meant that we were able to elicit important data that we included in a formal report with recommendations to the Department of Health (DoH) as part of our review of the MBS Items. We recently submitted our formal response and we are pleased to report that it was received positively. We are now pressing for a larger, more comprehensive survey to be undertaken and supported by the DoH.
Key findings of the pilot survey included:
- There was widespread support for the MBS Items in improving access to an appropriate dose of treatment.
- Views on whether the MBS Items ensured access to competent care were mixed.
- Respondents cited their appreciation of the MBS Items in allowing treatment to be provided at the appropriate intensity and duration with the support of a multi-disciplinary care team.
- Concerns were raised regarding GPs having a lack of knowledge about eating disorders and in initiating the Eating Disorder Plan.
- There were also concerns about accessing psychiatrists and paediatricians with appropriate expertise.
- Another frequently raised issue was the concern that the MBS Items are being accessed by practitioners with little eating disorder knowledge or who do not apply empirically supported treatments.
Overall we found that the survey responses indicated that the MBS Items have revolutionalised eating disorder treatment in Australia, meeting the treatment access needs of consumers and carers. The infographic below provides a more comprehensive snapshot of the survey results.