New MBS items for Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation (PTNS) for the treatment of idiopathic overactive bladder

Effective 1 November 2018

Page last updated: 11 October 2018

Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation - Factsheet (PDF 168 KB)
Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation- Factsheet (DOC 491 KB)

What are the changes?

From 1 November 2018, three new MBS items (36671, 36672 and 36673) will be listed for PTNS therapy. The PTNS treatment is delivered in three treatment phases: initial treatment, tapering treatment, and maintenance treatment.

• Item 36671: The initial treatment phase comprises twelve PTNS treatment sessions delivered over a three month period. Item 36671 is claimable for each of the 12 initial treatment sessions, and is restricted to specialist urologists, gynaecologists or urogynaecologists.
• Item 36672: The tapering treatment phase comprises five PTNS sessions, delivered over a three month period, and with the interval between sessions adjusted to maintain therapeutic benefit. Item 36672 is claimable for each of the five tapering sessions. There are no restrictions on who can perform this service.
• Item 36673: The maintenance treatment comprises one PTNS session monthly on an ongoing basis. Item 36673 is claimable for each maintenance session. There are no restrictions on who can perform this service.

Why are the changes being made?

The listing of this service was recommended by the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) in July 2017. Further details about the MSAC Application can be found at the MSAC website.

What does this mean for providers?

Item 36671 is restricted to specialist urologists, gynaecologists or urogynaecologists. There are no restrictions on who can perform the services to which items 36672 and 36673 apply.

What does this mean for patients?
As of 1 November, eligible patients will receive a Medicare rebate when undergoing PTNS for the treatment of idiopathic overactive bladder. Eligible patients are those for whom first and second line treatments are not effective.

When will this change be reviewed?

The Department of Health regularly reviews the usage of new and amended MBS items in consultation with the profession.

All MBS items may be subject to compliance processes and activities, including random and targeted audits which may require a provider to submit information about the services claimed.

Significant variation from forecasted expenditure may warrant review and amendment of fees, and incorrect use of MBS items can result in penalties including the health professional being asked to repay monies that have been incorrectly received.

Where can I find more information?

The full item descriptor and information on other changes to the MBS can be found at the MBS Online website or by calling the Department of Human Services on 132 150.

New items

(Draft wording of items to be finalised through regulatory amendments)

MBS item 36671
Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation, initial treatment protocol, for the treatment of overactive bladder, by a specialist urologist, gynaecologist or urogynaecologist, if:

(a) the patient has been diagnosed with idiopathic overactive bladder; and

(b) the patient has been refractory to, is contraindicated or otherwise not suitable for conservative treatments (including anti-cholinergic agents); and

(c) the patient is contraindicated or otherwise not a suitable candidate for botulinum toxin type A therapy; and

(d) the patient is contraindicated or otherwise not a suitable candidate for sacral nerve stimulation; and

(e) the patient is willing and able to comply with the treatment protocol; and

(f) the initial treatment protocol comprises 12 sessions, delivered over a 3 month period; and

(g) each session lasts for a minimum of 45 minutes, of which neurostimulation lasts for 30 minutes.

Applicable only once, unless the patient achieves at least a 50% reduction in overactive bladder symptoms from baseline at any time during the 3 month treatment period.

Not applicable to a service associated with a service to which item 36672 or 36673 applies.

Fee: $200 MBS benefit: 85% = $170 75% = $150
MBS item 36672
Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation, tapering treatment protocol, for the treatment of overactive bladder, including any associated consultation at the time the percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation treatment is administered, if:

(a) the patient responded to the percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation initial treatment protocol and has achieved at least a 50% reduction in overactive bladder symptoms from baseline at any time during the treatment period for the initial treatment protocol; and

(b) the tapering treatment protocol comprises no more than 5 sessions, delivered over a 3 month period, and the interval between sessions is adjusted with the aim of sustaining therapeutic benefit of the treatment; and

(c) each session lasts for a minimum of 45 minutes, of which neurostimulation lasts for 30 minutes.

Not applicable to a service associated with a service to which item 36671 or 36673 applies

Fee: $200 MBS benefit: 85% = $170 75% = $150
MBS item 36673
Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation, maintenance treatment protocol, for the treatment of overactive bladder, including any associated consultation at the time the percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation treatment is administered, if:

(a) the patient responded to the percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation initial treatment protocol and to the tapering treatment protocol, and has achieved at least a 50% reduction in overactive bladder symptoms from baseline at any time during the treatment period for the initial treatment protocol; and

(b) the maintenance treatment protocol comprises no more than 12 sessions, delivered over a 12 month period, and the interval between sessions is adjusted with the aim of sustaining therapeutic benefit of the treatment; and

(c) each session lasts for a minimum of 45 minutes, of which neurostimulation lasts for 30 minutes.

Not applicable to a service associated with a service to which item 36671 or 36672 applies

Fee: $200 MBS benefit: 85% = $170 75% = $150


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