Putting members’ health before profit

Key facts about the Medicare Benefits Schedule changes

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Changes to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) are underway and have the support of doctors, The Australian writes.

The changes bring about reforms to MBS item numbers for general surgery procedures, orthopaedic surgery and cardiac surgery, and follow the final report of the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce in December last year.

Here are some key facts about the changes to the MBS, commencing on July 1.

  • The schedule of fees set by the Australian Government for doctors and patients is being improved.
  • The changes reflect the recommendations of the expert members of the MBS Review Taskforce.
  • The MBS Review Taskforce are the independent umpires and the changes should not result in any increased out of pocket bills for consumers.
    Prior to choosing a surgeon, people should always ring their health fund for advice on no-gap and known gap arrangements to avoid any nasty surprises. They should also visit the Government Medical Cost Finder website.
  • Just because a surgeon charges more, does not mean they are any better than others and it makes sense to shop around to find the surgeon that is right for you.
  • Health funds are well aware of and prepared for the upcoming changes to the MBS, which will take effect from 1 July 2021.
  • The Australian Government Department of Health have provided lots of notice and have been engaging with stakeholders for several months now to help facilitate a smooth implementation.
  • Health funds are well progressed on ensuring all the MBS changes are accommodated in relevant systems and schedules.