What are the changes to the comprehensive eye examinations under the 2014-15 Budget Measure?From 1 January 2015, the period for comprehensive eye examinations for asymptomatic patients under the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) will be:
- extended from two years to three years for patients aged under 65 years old; and
- reduced from two years to one year for patients aged 65 years and over.
Who will be affected by this measure?This measure will affect patients who are not showing any signs of an eye condition receiving Medicare funded comprehensive eye examinations.
Patients without symptoms who are aged 65 years and over will be able to access Medicare funded services more regularly. This measure will benefit consumers in the older age cohort, who are likely to need more frequent eye examinations.
Patients without symptoms who are under 65 years will need to wait one year longer to access the Medicare funded comprehensive eye examination. However, there continues to be MBS items available for patients who need to see an optometrist for a comprehensive consultation for symptomatic reasons.
Am I eligible for this measure?All patients entitled to Medicare will remain eligible. This measure will not change the way people qualify for Medicare benefits.
Are there changes to the MBS item for comprehensive eye examinations?There are two new MBS items for a comprehensive initial consultation that have been introduced.
Item 10910 has been introduced for a professional attendance of more than 15 minutes for a patient who is less than 65 years of age. This item is payable once only within a 36 month period.
Item 10911 has been introduced for a professional attendance of more than 15 minutes for a patient who is at least 65 years of age. This item is payable once only within a 12 month period.
Due to the introduction of the two new items, item 10900, which is the old item for comprehensive eye examinations, has ceased from 1 January 2015.
Detailed information on MBS items for optometry services are outlined in the MBS Optometrical Services Schedule which can be found at MBS Online website.