About the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review

Terms of reference, indicative timeline and scope of the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review.

Page last updated: 25 February 2016

The Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce is considering how the more than 5,700 items on the MBS can be aligned with contemporary clinical evidence and practice and improve health outcomes for patients. The review is clinician-led and there are no targets for savings attached to it.

Indicative timeline

2015

  • April 2015 - MBS Review announced
  • July 2015
    • Taskforce established
    • Stakeholder consultation commenced with stakeholder forums held in Canberra (8 July), Adelaide (24 July) and Perth (25 July)
  • September-November 2015
    • Consultation paper released
    • Public consultation and submission process
    • Establishment of first tranche of clinical committees and working groups
  • December 2015 - February 2016 - Obsolete items tranche #1 public consultation and submission process

2016

  • January 2016 - Interim report submitted to the Minister for Health
  • January-December 2016
    • The bulk of the reviews to be completed
    • Stakeholder consultation
  • December 2016 - Taskforce to provide a second report providing recommendations to the Minister Top of page

Scope of the review

In scope

  • All current MBS items and the services they describe
  • Increasing the value derived from services
  • Concerns about safety, clinically unnecessary service provision and concurrence with guidelines
  • Evidence for services, appropriateness, best practice options, levels and frequency of support
  • Legislation and rules that underpin the MBS

Out of scope

New MBS services or items

The Terms of Reference for the MBS Review Taskforce do not preclude it from recommending new services or items to be added to the MBS.

Where the taskforce identifies a new service it considers should be added to the MBS, it will facilitate the collection of evidence to allow the government to make a decision on whether to fund the service. Where relevant, this may include an expedited review by the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC).

MSAC is an independent expert committee that provides advice to the Minister for Health on the strength of the evidence relating to the comparative safety, clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of any new or existing medical service or technology, and the circumstances under which public funding should be supported through listing on the MBS.

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