Guaranteeing Medicare – Medical Benefits Schedule Review – Blood Product Services

The Australian Government is making changes to Medicare-funded blood product services, to support best practice treatment and improve patient safety. These changes follow recommendations from the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce.

Page last updated: 17 December 2019

Guaranteeing Medicare – Medical Benefits Schedule Review – Blood Product Services (PDF 137 KB)
Guaranteeing Medicare – Medical Benefits Schedule Review – Blood Product Services (Word 76 KB)

What are the changes?

From 1 November 2020, changes to blood product MBS services will take effect, including the deletion of one item and the amendment of MBS descriptors for two items.

Following a review of eight blood product service items, changes were made to update item descriptor 13760 to increase the scope of cancerous conditions claimable and clarify best practice to prevent misuse of the service. An amendment of item descriptor 13703 will ensure it accords with the National Blood Authority guidelines.

Deletion of obsolete item 13709 will also occur, with practitioners able to deliver services using alternative MBS items.

Why are these changes being made?

These changes were recommended by the independent MBS Review Taskforce, following a comprehensive review of the MBS items by clinicians, health system experts and consumers.

The revised item descriptors better reflect the procedures being performed by practitioners and contemporary best-practice. These changes will also ensure that claims are consistent and appropriate.

What does this mean for patients?

The changes will benefit patients as they address concerns regarding patient safety and quality of care.

As the changes promote higher value medical care, patients may benefit through a reduction of unnecessary services and related out-of-pocket expenses.

What does this mean for providers?

Impacts to providers are expected to be minimal. The changes to items are to align with best clinical practice.

The Department will work closely with stakeholders when developing the changes to the blood product MBS items. Providers will receive further information about the changes as implementation proceeds.

Further detail will be available on the MBS Online website.