Guaranteeing Medicare – Medicare Benefits Schedule Review – continuation

This measure continues funding for the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review to ensure that Medicare represents safe, quality and contemporary best practice clinical care for Australians.

Page last updated: 09 May 2017

PDF version: Guaranteeing Medicare – Medicare Benefits Schedule Review – continuation (PDF 103 KB)

Why is this important?

The MBS accounts for one third of all Commonwealth healthcare spending and five per cent of Government spending overall. In 2015–16, some 384 million MBS services were provided with $21.1 billion in benefits paid.

The MBS has not been thoroughly reviewed for more than 30 years and there is concern that not all MBS services reflect best clinical practice. The Review is reviewing line by line all 5,700 items on the MBS.

The clinician-led Review provides a mechanism independent of the Government for making changes to the MBS that support patient safety and equity of access, modernise the MBS and support its financial sustainability through removing or reducing the use of services with limited clinical benefit. This will enable resources to be redirected to new or existing services with proven benefit.

This measure enables the Department of Health to continue to support the Review Taskforce and other Review committees to complete the reviews currently under way, and to review the remaining 41 per cent of MBS items. Since its inception in June 2015, the Review has made considerable progress. Around 12 per cent of items (more than 600) have been reviewed. A further 45 per cent of items (just under 2,500) are currently under review. Together these items represent around 74 per cent of total Medicare outlays, or $15.1 billion.

Who will benefit?

Reviews will ensure that MBS is funding safe, quality, contemporary best practice clinical care.

How much will this cost?

This measure will cost $44.2 million from 2017–18 to 2019–20.

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