Magnitude of MBS review

Latest News

The size and extent of government's review of the Medicare Benefits Schedule has been revealed by the Department of Health in response to a question tabled at the most recent Senate Estimates.

Greens leaders Senator Richard Di Natale asked a series of questions about the review announced by former health minister Sussan Ley in April 2015.

A Taskforce was established as part of the review to examine all the items listed on the MBS and recommend changes to align services with contemporary, evidence-based medical practice. 

It has already delivered a number of outcomes, including recent changes to item numbers covering post-surgery attendance, gastroenterology, obstetric, ear, nose and throat services, as well as bone mineral density tests, colonoscopy and rebates for some GP services. 

According to the Department's response, since the review commenced, over 65 clinical committees and working groups have been established.

"There are over 440 clinicians, consumers and health system experts on these committees and working groups reviewing items," it said.

The Taskforce has provided advice to health minister Greg Hunt on 232 MBS items. 

The Department also confirmed no savings target associated with the review. Any savings from changes are being reinvested in the MBS.