Changes to the Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) – July 2021

Over the last few days there has been some media attention on changes to the Medical Benefits Schedule which will take effect from 1 July. The Federal Government has liaised with a clinician-led MBS Review Taskforce to introduce changes to 900 MBS item numbers, most related to general surgery, orthopaedic and cardiac services.

The updates to the MBS are aimed at increasing efficiency and transparency to consolidate the Schedule to reflect current medical procedures and practice.

We understand our members may be concerned about how these changes may impact your cover.  Below is a summary of what we know to date, as well as links to Government resources. We’ll update this as more information becomes available.

What are the changes?

The changes are the Government’s response to recommendations from the clinician-led MBS Review Taskforce and are aimed at ensuring the Schedule reflects modern medical and clinical best practice.

Most of the changes relate to item numbers for Orthopaedic Surgery, Cardiac Services and General Surgery with the intent of combining like procedures, removing ambiguity and improving the quality of care and safety to patients.

The changes will introduce new items, amend existing items and delete some items.

At this stage, while specific item numbers may change, you will continue to remain covered for procedures and treatments falling under the clinical categories covered by your policy.

A relatively low amount of item numbers have been removed. Usually if an item is removed it has been replaced or consolidated with another item.

How can I get more details?

The Department of Health has put together a number of information resources, including factsheets, about these changes. You may find these helpful, so you can read more here.

It’s important that you ask your doctors or specialists for Informed Financial Consent so you’re aware of any out-of–pocket costs prior to undergoing any treatment or procedure. You can read more here.

If you’re still concerned, remember we’re here to help. Just call or email so our Member Care experts can talk you through your concerns.

I have a procedure planned after 1 July – will this impact me?

If you’re concerned about a particular procedure you have planned or scheduled after 1 July, you should contact your doctor, specialist or treatment provider to discuss the MBS item number.

Once you have your item number, we’ll be able to check your policy with you to check you’re covered.