Consultations - Medicare Benefits Schedule Review

A key element of the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review is comprehensive and regular consultation with stakeholders, including consumers of MBS services.

Page last updated: 08 October 2016

Why we want your input

How it works
What will be the outcome of consultations?
What is the Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS)?
What is the MBS Review Taskforce?
Previous Consultations

Why we want your input

Public consultation is an opportunity for the Australian public, including health professionals, to have their say about recommendations proposed by the Clinical Committees, prior to these recommendations being made to Government.

Public consultation with stakeholders, including consumers of MBS services is integral to the process established by the MBS Review Taskforce (the Taskforce).

Stakeholder input has been critical in shaping the Review to date. It is important that this process is upheld through this Review process.

How it works

The clinical review of MBS items is carried out by discipline specific Clinical Committees and Working Groups. The Clinical Committees report to the Taskforce who have responsibility for reviewing a defined range of existing MBS items.

At the same time, a Principles and Rules Committee appointed by the Taskforce is reviewing the enforceable rules and regulations underpinning the MBS ensuring they are up-to-date and support contemporary clinical practice.

Recommendations from Clinical Committees and the Principles and Rules Committee are publicly released to invite stakeholder feedback as an ongoing process. The recommendations do not represent the final position on items, as they remain subject to consideration of stakeholder feedback and the Taskforce.

What will be the outcome of consultations?

Step 1: Following the public consultation period, the Clinical Committees will assess the advice from public consultation and decide whether any changes are needed to the recommendations.

Step 2: The Clinical Committees will then send the recommendations to the MBS Taskforce.

Step 3: The MBS Review Taskforce will consider the recommendations as well as the information provided by the public in order to make sure that all the important concerns are addressed.

Step 4: The MBS Taskforce will then provide recommendations to Government.

What is the Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS)?

The Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) is a list of health professional services subsidised by the Australian Government. There are over 5,700 MBS items which provide patient benefits for wide-ranging services including consultations, diagnostic tests and operations.

What is the MBS Review Taskforce?

The Taskforce is considering every one of the more than 5,700 items on the MBS. They are looking at how the items can be aligned with contemporary clinical evidence and practice and improve health outcomes for all Australians. The Taskforce will also seek to identify any services that may be unnecessary, outdated or potentially unsafe.

The Taskforce is committed to providing recommendations to the Minister that will allow the MBS to deliver on each of these four key goals:

  • Affordable and universal access
  • Best practice health services
  • Value for the individual patient
  • Value for the health system.

A key part of the Review is continuing and widespread consultation with the Australian public.

Over the course of the Review the Taskforce has established 40 Clinical Committees and around 60 working groups, currently with more than 300 clinicians actively involved in examining the MBS items they use on a daily basis.

Health consumers contribute through a health consumer panel, representation on the Taskforce and clinical committees, and participation in consultation forums.

Previous Consultations

The Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce has undertaken the following consultations:

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