Modernising Diagnostic Imaging Services

The Australian Government is making changes to Medicare-funded diagnostic imaging services to support high-value care, reflect current medical practice and ensure patients are receiving procedures in line with current best practice. These changes follow recommendations from the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce.

Page last updated: 04 April 2019

Modernising Diagnostic Imaging Services (PDF 72 KB)

What are the changes?

From 1 May 2020, changes to the diagnostic imaging items in the MBS will include incentivising providers to use more modern cost effective imaging equipment and clarifying co-claiming arrangements for diagnostic imaging services to ensure that inappropriate billing does not occur.

The changes will also include removing obsolete nuclear medicine items and modernising a range of diagnostic imaging items, including those that relate to breast and obstetric imaging.

Why are these changes being made?

The changes to diagnostic imaging services in the MBS aim to improve quality of care, encourage high value care and reflect current clinical practice.

The changes are the outcome of the Government agreeing to recommendations from the MBS Review Taskforce following extensive consultation and discussion with key stakeholders. These discussions identified the key priorities needed to modernise the diagnostic imaging portions of the MBS.

The Taskforce is conducting a clinician-led review, and makes recommendations to the Government on how the MBS can be modernised to improve patient safety, support equity of access and reduce waste.

What does this mean for patients?

Patients will benefit from the changes which improve patient safety and quality of care. The changes also help ensure that MBS funded services represent value for the patient and the community.

The changes will modernise a range of diagnostic imaging items, including those that relate to breast and obstetric imaging, to ensure that the best imaging examination is available to patients when they need it.

What does this mean for providers?

Providers will benefit as the changes simplify the MBS and align requirements with contemporary clinical practice.

The clarification of co-claiming arrangements, where a small number of providers claim for a consultation and a procedure in the same service, will assist providers who may have inadvertently adopted this inappropriate practice.

Providers affected by these changes will receive further information closer to the implementation date.

Further detail will be available on www.mbsonline.gov.au

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