Quarterly Medicare Statistics

The Quarterly Medicare Statistics contains data relating to Medicare from September Quarter 1984 onwards.

Page last updated: 12 February 2018

Public Release of Medicare Statistics: 2017-18 Financial Year-to-Date (YTD) July to December

More GP attendances and more benefits paid

In 2017-18 financial year-to-date (YTD) July to December, patients accessed 76.8 million GP services, at a cost in Medicare benefits of almost $3.9 billion. This compares to 73.5 million services during the same period in 2016-17 at a cost of $3.7 billion in Medicare benefits. This is an increase of 5.1%1 in service volumes and an increase in benefits of 6.3%1 compared to the same period in 2016-17.

More Medicare Services overall

The volume of total Medicare services in 2017-18 financial YTD July to December was 206.7 million services, at a cost of $11.6 billion in Medicare benefits. This compares to 192.7 million services during the same period in 2016-17, at a cost of $10.9 billion in Medicare benefits. This is an increase of 7.9%1 in service volumes and an increase in benefits of 7.7%1 compared to the same period in 2016-17.

Patients are receiving more Medicare services that are fully subsidised

In 2017-18 financial YTD July to December, patients received 162.5 million bulk billed Medicare services compared to 149.8 million during the same period in 2016-17. This represents an additional 12.6 million fully subsidised Medicare services compared to the same period in 2016-17.

Rates of bulk billing for GP attendances, Pathology, Diagnostic Imaging continue to increase

2016-17 YTD Jul-Dec
2017-18 YTD Jul-Dec
Change in % Points*
Total GP (excl practice nurse)
85.4
85.8
0.5
Pathology
87.2
88.2
1.0
Diagnostic Imaging
77.2
77.8
0.6
Total Medicare
77.8
78.6
0.9

*The change in bulk billing rate in % points is calculated before rounding the bulk billing rate to 1-decimal point. For this reason, % point differences reported may differ from calculations derived using reported bulk billing rates.

Explanatory notes

Year-to-Date (YTD)

  • Reporting figures on a YTD basis allows for comparisons between the same periods across quarters, year-to-date and financial years. This corrects for seasonal variations (winter versus summer) and the timing of public holidays.

Understanding Bulk Billing Rates

  • Bulk billing is reported on a year-to-date (YTD) basis over the course of the financial year. The bulk billing rate is calculated, then rounded to one decimal point for reporting purposes.
  • The latest bulk billing figures are for the July 2017 to December 2017 period.
  • Bulk billing data is also reported for individual quarters.
  • Bulk billing data is reported for:
    • All MBS services, by state/territory and remoteness area for 16 Broad Type of Service (BTOS) categories. Each BTOS category typically comprises a set of related MBS group of items.
    • For example, bulk billing data is available for GP and specialist attendances, pathology, diagnostic imaging, practice nurses and allied health services.

Table

Quarterly Medicare Statistics - September Quarter 1984 to December Quarter 2017 (Excel 5500 KB)

The Department of Health has made every effort to ensure that the Microsoft Excel version of the above documents meets accessibility requirements. If you are experiencing difficulty accessing the information contained within this document, please email MBS.Statistics@health.gov.au to arrange for an alternative format to be provided to you.

1 Adjusted for the number of working days in the period