Increasing the rebate based on procedure not practitioner

The Australian Government is increasing the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) rebate for selected procedures performed by GPs, following recommendation from the MBS Review Taskforce.

Page last updated: 22 August 2017

Increasing the rebate based on procedure not practitioner (PDF 70 KB)

What are the changes?

Increased MBS rebate for GP performed procedures and improved access

A number of minor procedures currently have different item numbers and different benefits depending on whether the service is provided by a GP or another medical specialist.

The MBS fees and rebates for these selected minor procedures will be increased from the GP rate to the specialist rate. This will align the payment of MBS benefits to the procedure provided, and not whether it is performed by a GP or another specialist.

The increased rebates will commence on 1 November 2017

Why are these changes being made?

The changes were recommended by the MBS Review Taskforce following an extensive period of consultation.

The Taskforce is conducting a clinician-led review, which makes recommendations to the Government on how the MBS can be modernised to improve patient safety, support equity of access and reduce waste.

What does this mean for patients?

This change will benefit patients, who will receive increased MBS benefits if a GP performs one of these minor procedures. This will also encourage GPs with the necessary skills to perform procedures such as vasectomy, repair of skin wounds and removal of simple cysts and hence avoid unnecessary specialist referral.

What does this mean for providers?

GPs who perform these minor procedures will now receive the MBS benefit for that item at the specialist rate. Overall this change will increase benefits paid for 31 minor procedures (30,000 services per year) performed by GPs.

Further details on all the changes can be found on MBS Online website.