About the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review

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

Page last updated: 30 March 2017

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 forums held in Canberra (8 July), Adelaide (24 July) and Perth (25 July)
  • September-November 2015
  • December 2015 - February 2016 - Obsolete items tranche #1 public consultation and submission process

2016

2017

  • April 2017
  • June-Nov 2017 – Reports from third tranche of clinical committees to be released for public consultation
  • December 2017 – Taskforce to provide 2017 report with recommendations to the Minister

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.