Why is this important?
Indexation will start from 1 July 2017 for GP bulk billing incentives; 1 July 2018 for standard GP consultations (GP attendances in MBS group A1) and specialist attendances; 1 July 2019 for specialist procedures and allied health; and 1 July 2020 for targeted diagnostic imaging services, including computed tomography, mammography, fluoroscopy and interventional radiology.
This demonstrates the Government’s rock solid commitment to Medicare.
These changes have been made as part of a compact with the Australian Medical Association and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, which includes their support for the MBS Review and My Health Record.
Certain GP services will be indexed for the first time since 1 July 2014, specialist and allied health fees will be indexed for the first time since 1 November 2012, and the targeted diagnostic imaging services will be indexed for the first time since fee adjustments were made in 2004.
Who will benefit?
Patients will benefit through higher rebates which will reduce their out-of-pocket expenses and assist providers to bulk bill patients.
Peak bodies representing general practice, including the Australian Medical Association, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, and medical colleges which represent specialist providers will benefit from the end of the pause, which has been a major concern to them.
How much will this cost?
This measure will cost $1.0 billion from 2017–18 to 2020–21 and will be part of a broader $2.4 billion investment in Medicare.