SpesNews Volume 129
PCNS PRACTICE NUMBER
Practices are required to be in possession of an active practice number in order to submit claims to medical schemes. The practice number has to be updated annually and entails a fee that has to be paid to the PCNS (Practice Code Numbering System) via the BHF (Board of Healthcare Funders). Failure to pay the annual PCNS fees will result in your practice number becoming inactive and claims from medical schemes rejected. Due to the number of queries regarding the practice number and the PCNS, SpesNet would like to communicate the following to the practices:
Please ensure that your HPCSA and PCNS fees are kept up to date. The PCNS number cannot be renewed if there are any fees outstanding at the HPCSA. For outstanding fees, kindly contact the HPCSA at www.hpcsa.co.za or via telephone: (012) 338 9300/1 or (012) 328 5120.
The 2016 HPCSA Annual fees can be obtained from the HPCSA by clicking here. These should be paid by 31 March 2016.
FOR PCNS (PRACTICE NUMBERS) RENEWAL: Your practice number must be used as the Reference Number for the transaction.
What is different from previous years is that the following documents will have to be submitted to the PCNS for practice number renewals:
Proof of the annual HPCSA payment (the blue HPCSA card)
A copy of your ID document
Proof of your PCNS payment
These must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 086 607 3703
To pay or view your outstanding balance, as well as to update your practice information, please contact the PCNS Client Services Centre on 0861 30 2010 or send an e-mail to: email@example.com.
The PCNS website can also be reached via www.pcns.co.za.
LAWYERS TARGET HEALTHCARE
The need for Professional Medico-legal indemnity has once again been emphasized by the renewed targeting of medical professionals by the legal fraternity. Whereas the Road Accident Fund (RAF) previously provided a lucrative business opportunity, recent restructuring and shuffling within the RAF significantly impaired the ability of lawyers to continue their status quo. This has led to a renewed interest in litigation against healthcare professionals, both in private and public institutions. All specialities are being targeted and practices are encouraged to be vigilant in determining where potential weaknesses (in terms of clinical and administrative processes) within the practice may exists. It is then imperative to address these issues accordingly.
It worth noting that targeting specialists not only leads to an increase in the premiums for the specialities, it also deters students from pursuing a career in the specific specialist field in the future. In a country already experiencing an acute shortage of specialists, aforementioned definitely could be considered counterproductive in reaching the millennial healthcare objectives.
EXTENSION FOR NHI COMMENT
The Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi granted extension for comments on the NHI White Paper. This was in the form of Government Gazette 39675 of 11 February 2016. Comments should be submitted to
The Director-General of Health,
Private Bag X828,
by no later than 31 May 2016. It should also be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SpesNet would like to urge practices to make use of this opportunity to comment on the NHI White Paper. One subject that comes to mind, worth commenting on is the reintroduction of the Certificate of Need. In terms of the current NHI White Paper, healthcare professionals will have to obtain the necessary accreditation before any provider claims will be paid.
NO "FROZEN" POSTS IN THE DOH
Dr Aaron Motsoaledi denied allegations that some provincial health departments are freezing posts, responding that he would like to commit it to record that there are no medical posts frozen in the country. Some provinces have implemented a validation system whereby either the Office of the Premier or the Finance MEC had to approve any new applications for posts.
At the end of last year, the Eastern Cape sent out communication stating that only community service health workers who had to pay back bursaries would be absorbed into the public health system due to budget constraints. This resulted in a lot of criticism against the department, but in retrospect would seem unavoidable in the light of a consecutive average 8% year on year increase in staff salaries for the last 10 years.
The comment from the Minister is extremely welcome and well received. It certainly would alleviate some concerns regarding the future of healthcare professionals in this country and also indicate that contingency plans for addressing the acute shortage of healthcare professionals are underway. At this point in time, the country can hardly afford a drop in the number of medical professionals.