25 September 2023

Medicare health plans the best medicine

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The chair of a taskforce reviewing the Department of Health’s Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS), Professor Bruce Robinson (pictured) has welcomed the official acceptance of 40 recommendations for change.

Professor Robinson said the job of the taskforce was to update the MBS to ensure its contemporary, evidence-based schedule continued to progress.

“I am pleased that the Government has accepted 38 major recommendations in full, and accepted two others in part,” Professor Robinson said.

“All of the changes will improve patient care, help modernise the MBS, improve the MBS’s focus on clinical best practice, and provide greater value for money for patients, providers and the health system.”

He said the changes to the MBS were in the areas of dermatology, allergy and immunology; knee imaging; endocrinology; renal medicine; spinal surgery; thoracic medicine; breast tomosynthesis; and capsule endoscopy.

He said the changes included a new item to support the delivery of dialysis in very remote areas; a new item to enable access to three-dimensional breast tomosynthesis, which is a form of high-resolution imaging; and improved diagnosis of asthma in general practice.

“Acceptance of these recommendations represents the latest in a number of major reforms recommended by the MBS Review Taskforce,” Professor Robinson said.

He said 88 recommendations of the Taskforce had been accepted, either in full or in part, with a strong pipeline of recommendations forthcoming.

The new MBS items are to be introduced from 1 November this year.

Details of the agreed recommendations can be accessed on the Department of Health website at this PS News link.

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