Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce reports

Page last updated: 14 December 2020

On 30 June 2020, the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Taskforce (the Taskforce) concluded its review of the more than 5,700 items on the MBS which commenced in 2015.

The Taskforce has published its Final Report along with reports that have recently been provided to Government or were previously unpublished.

What are the next steps now that the reports have gone to Government?

The Taskforce’s reports and recommendations have now been sent to the Government for consideration.

Any decision on the recommendations, and the implementation of any changes stemming from them, is entirely a decision for the Government. Once the Government has indicated its support for a recommendation, work will begin on implementing the changes.

The timing of implementation of recommendations may vary due to complexity and impacts on stakeholders.

We appreciate that many will seek an immediate response and change based on recommendations endorsed by the Taskforce. However, the Taskforce’s recommendations are significant in number, scale and scope.

It is important to note that ongoing stakeholder collaboration and involvement has been vital in progressing these recommendations. To ensure we respond in a way that minimises the risk of unintended consequences, the Department of Health will work with the sector to assess how these recommendations can be implemented in a way that best meets the safety and care needs of patients.

If and when the Government endorses implementation of a recommendation, changes will be announced via the Department of Health website and updates on implementation will be communicated through the MBS Online website (mbsonline.gov.au – search latest news and fact sheets).

Taskforce Reports

Please find the links below to the Taskforce reports.

Taskforce Final Report

At the conclusion of its work, the Taskforce also developed its Final Report, which details the work of the Taskforce and provides 21 broader recommendations intended to reform and reposition the MBS so it is able to meet the challenges of the years ahead. Many of these recommendations would require further investigation, development and discussion, and stakeholders are welcome to provide their views on the recommendations by contacting the MBS Reviews Team at the Department of Health (MBSReviews@health.gov.au).

Primary Care Reports

Following a consultation period over the first half of 2019, the General Practice Primary Care Clinical Committee (GPPCCC) and Primary Care Reference Groups (PCRGs) met to consider feedback received from stakeholders. The groups submitted their Final Reports to the Taskforce for consideration in August 2019.

During the Taskforce’s deliberations on the reports, it quickly became apparent there was significant overlap across the recommendations. The Taskforce discussed the recommendations on multiple occasions over the remainder of 2019 and agreed to undertake further work to ensure a consistent view of primary care was presented to the Government. This work was undertaken in early 2020 and involved assessing each recommendation individually and as part of a theme group (see section on Key Themes within the Primary Care Report) so as not to create inconsistency, fragmentation of care for patients or any unintended consequences.

Collectively, 101 recommendations were considered by the Taskforce in developing this consolidated report to provide its final advice on primary care related services.

The Taskforce’s findings and advice on recommendations from the GPPCCC and PCRGs can be found with the overarching Primary Care Report together with Taskforce Findings documents under each respective report.

General Practice and Primary Care Clinical Committee

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Reference Group

Allied Health Reference Group

Mental Health Reference Group

Nurse Practitioner Reference Group

Participating Midwife Reference Group

Anaesthesia Clinical Committee

Blood Products Working Group

Cardiac Services Clinical Committee

Cleft Dental Services – Category 7 Clinical Committee

Colorectal Surgery Clinical Committee

Consumer Panel Clinical Committee

Dermatology, Allergy and Immunology Clinical Committee

Diagnostic Imaging Clinical Committee

Diagnostic Medicine Clinical Committee

Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery Clinical Committee

Eating Disorders Working Group

Endocrinology Clinical Committee

Gastroenterology Clinical Committee

General Surgery

2018 - General Surgery Clinical Committee – Consultation Report

2019 - MBS Reviews Taskforce Report on General Surgery Clinical Committee

Gynaecology Clinical Committee

Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine Clinical Committee

Neurosurgery and Neurology Clinical Committee

2018 - Neurosurgery and Neurology Clinical Committee report

2018 - MBS Reviews Taskforce Report on Neurosurgery and Neurology

Obstetrics Clinical Committee

Oncology Clinical Committee

Ophthalmology Clinical Committee

Optometry Clinical Committee

Orthopaedic Clinical Committee

2017 - Orthopaedic Clinical Committee Report

2019 - MBS Reviews Taskforce Report on Orthopaedics

Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery Clinical Committee

Paediatric Surgery Clinical Committee

Pain Management Clinical Committee

Pathology Clinical Committee

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Clinical Committee

Principles and Rules Committee

Psychiatry Clinical Committee

Renal Medicine Clinical Committee

Specialist and Consultant Physician Consultation Clinical Committee

Spinal Surgery Clinical Committee

Taskforce Consultation Paper

Telehealth

Thoracic Medicine Clinical Committee

Thoracic Surgery Clinical Committee

Urgent After-Hours Primary Care Services funded by the MBS

Urology

2018 - Urology Clinical Committee - Consultation Report

2019 - MBS Reviews Taskforce Report on Urology

Vascular Clinical Committee

Wound Management Working Group