History of key MBS primary care initiatives 1999-2013

This page provides a brief history of the key Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) initiatives between 1999 and 2013.

Page last updated: 03 April 2014

1999

  • Enhanced Primary Care package, which included:
    • new items for medical practitioner involvement in multidisciplinary case conferencing and care planning for people with chronic and complex needs;
    • items for annual health assessments for Indigenous people aged 55 and over (items 704 and 706), and for non-Indigenous people 75 years of age and over (the Older Person’s Health Assessment).

2001

  • A new Item for GPs undertaking a home medication management review in collaboration with a community pharmacy (item 900).

2003

  • Introduction of the MBS Safety Net for concession card holders.

2004

  • Strengthening Medicare package, which included:
    • new bulk billing incentive payments;
    • items for allied health services (items 10950-10970) provided to patients with chronic disease management plans(1 July 2004);
    • health assessment item for residents of aged care facilities (item 712, Comprehensive Medical Assessment );
  • health assessment item for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged between 15-55 (item 710, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Adult Health Check);
  • an item for GPs undertaking a medication management review of a resident of an aged care facility in collaboration with a pharmacy (item 903).

2005

  • 100% Medicare Rebate for GP Services initiative
    • conversion of rebates for all GP services from 85% to 100% of the scheduled fee;
  • Round The Clock Medicare initiative, which introduced:
    • the 5000 series items for non urgent after hours attendances, which added $10 to the existing in hours items;
    • increased rebates for urgent after hours attendances ($10 increase).
  • Introduction of the Chronic Disease Management (CDM) items (721-731), which replaced the Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) multidisciplinary care planning Medicare items for patients with a chronic or terminal medical condition.

2006

  • Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the Medicare Benefits Schedule initiative, introduced:
    • Medicare items for GP mental health care plans, consultations on a new patient by a psychiatrist, and rebates for treatment by a range of mental health professionals;
  • A new health assessment item for people aged 45 to 49 years (item 717);
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Health Check (item 708);
  • Health Assessment for Refugees and other Humanitarian Entrants (items 714 and 716).

2007

  • Intellectual Disability Health Check (items 718 and 719);
  • Allied health items (81100-81125) for group services to patients with type 2 diabetes when they are managed by their GP under a GP Management Plan.

2008

  • Increased Access to After Hours GP Services initiative, which introduced:
    • the ‘Transitional Hours’ after hours timezone, and two new items for urgent attendances in Transitional Hours (between 6-8pm on weekdays and midday to 1pm on Saturdays);
  • Type 2 Diabetes Risk Evaluation (item 713);
  • Health Kids Check (Items 709 and 711);
  • the Helping Children with Autism initiative, which introduced:
    • new items for consultant paediatricians (item 135) and psychiatrists (item 289) to diagnose children with autism and other pervasive developmental disorders; and
    • new allied health items for a psychologist, occupational therapist or speech pathologist to assist with diagnosis (items 82000-82010) and provide treatment services (items 82015-82025);
    • Follow-up allied health services for people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent who have had a GP health assessment (items 81300-81360).
  • Follow-up Health Services (item 10987) provided by a Practice Nurse or registered Aboriginal Health Worker for an Indigenous Person who has received a health assessment

2009

  • Increase from a maximum of 5 to 10 Follow-up Health Services per calendar year (item 10987) provided by a Practice Nurse or registered Aboriginal Health Worker for an Indigenous Person who has received a health assessment

2010

  • From 1 January 2010, a new Medicare item (2702) was introduced for GPs who have not completed accredited Mental Health Skills Training, for developing a Mental Health Treatment Plan. GPs who have completed Mental Health Skills Training accredited by the General Practice Mental Health Standards Collaboration (GPMHSC) will continue to be able to access item 2710, for developing a Mental Health Treatment Plan.
  • From 1 May 2010, the MBS Review of Medicare primary care items resulted in the reduction of ten health assessment items to four time-based items 701(brief), 703 (standard), 705 (long) and 707 (prolonged). These health assessment items continue to apply to individual target groups, including:
    • children who are aged at least 3 years and less than 5 years of age, who have received or who are receiving their 4 year old immunisation;
    • people aged 45-49 years who are at risk of developing chronic disease;
    • people aged 40-49 years with a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes as determined by the Australian Type 2 Diabetes Risk Assessment Tool;
    • people aged 75 years and older;
    • permanent residents of residential aged care facilities;
    • people with an intellectual disability; and
    • refugees and other humanitarian entrants.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Check items for children, adults and older people were merged into one MBS health assessment item 715.
  • From 1 November 2010, MBS items (82200-82215 and 82100-82110) were introduced for eligible Midwives and Nurse Practitioners to enable them to provide Medicare rebateable services, referrals to medical specialists and to request certain diagnostic services.

2011

  • the Better Start for Children with Disability initiative which introduced:
    • new items for specialists and consultant physicians (item 137) and general practitioners (item 139) for the development of a treatment and management plan for a child with an eligible disability (sight and hearing impairment, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and Fragile X syndrome); and
    • amendments to existing allied health items for a psychologist, occupational therapist or speech pathologist to assist with diagnosis (items 82000-82010) and provide treatment services (items 82015-82025) for children with an eligible disability;
    • new items for audiologists, orthoptists, optometrists and physiotherapists to assist with diagnosis (item 82030) and provide treatment services (item 83035) for children with an eligible disability; and
    • the provision of multiple services (up to four) per day per child when clinically indicated.
  • amendments to the Helping Children with Autism program which introduced:
    • new items for audiologists, orthoptists, optometrists and physiotherapists to assist with diagnosis (item 82030) and provide treatment services (item 83035) for children with autism or other pervasive developmental disorders; and
    • the provision of multiple services (up to four) per day per child when clinically indicated.