The July 2008 Medicare Benefit Schedule is now available.

Changes to the MBS for July 2008 include:

Page last updated: 07 October 2008

Autism or any other Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Two new items have been introduced as part of the Helping Children with Autism package for paediatricians and psychiatrists for diagnosis and management of autism or any other pervasive developmental disorder. Explanatory note A.13 has been added to clarify the requirements, appropriate use of and referral to Allied Health Professional services through items 135 and 289.

New MBS items (82000 to 82025, inclusive) have also been introduced for services provided by Allied Health Professionals to children (under 13 years for diagnosis, and under 15 years for treatment) who have or are suspected of having a pervasive developmental disorder.

Healthy Kids Check - Items 709 and 711 have been introduced to support general practitioners, practice nurses and registered Aboriginal Health Workers to undertake a health check for a patient who is receiving or has received their four year old immunisation.

Type 2 Diabetes Risk Evaluation - Item 713 forms part of the 'COAG - reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes' initiative to address the significant growth in type 2 diabetes in Australia. This item enables GPs to preview patients 40 to 49 years of age who are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and instigate early interventions to assist in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.

Radiation Oncology - Four new items have been introduced in the radiation oncology section (Group T2) of the schedule covering treatment verification procedures and radiation source localisation for high dose brachytherapy. The new items are 15700, 15715, 15800 and 15850.

Regional or Field Nerve Blocks
Item 18292 has been amended to allow claiming in association with items 18354, 18356 and 18358. This change will assist children with cerebral palsy to access Medicare benefits where an injection of a neurolytic agent is also required as part of their treatment with Botulinum toxin.

Therapeutic Nuclear Medicine
Item 16018 has been amended to allow all cancer patients (not only those with carcinoma of the prostate and breast) to access this radioisotope treatment for the relief of bone pain caused from secondary bony metastases where other forms of treatment have failed. This amendment will increase access to the item for palliative patients assisting in their quality of life.

Anaesthesia - Relative Value Guide (RVG)
Several changes to the MBS RVG have been made to improve the inherent relativities and ensure that the RVG continues to reflect current clinical practice. These changes will introduce 16 new items and amend 3 existing items. While these changes are mostly minor and will only affect a relatively small number of services, they will improve the MBS RVG and continue the general principle inherent in the RVG of more complex anaesthesia services generating a greater number of RVG units.

Bowel Surgery - A minor amendment has been made to item 30487 to clarify that it should be provided as an independent procedure.

Item 42741 has been introduced for posterior juxtascleral depot injection with the use of a therapeutic substance (which must be registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration or listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule). The new item will allow for the treatment of subfoveal choroidal neovascularisation due to age-related macular degeneration.

Items 49503 and 49506 have been amended to ensure that the items are more reflective of the original intent and not open to misinterpretation.

Reversal of Sterilisation Procedures
As announced in the 2008-09 Federal Budget, items 35700, 37616, 37619 and 59736 have been amended to reinstate Medicare benefits for people who wish to have a previous elective sterilisation procedure reversed. This will assist people wanting to restore their fertility.

Pain pumps.
New explanatory notes have been included in the MBS to clarify that the use of post-operative pain pumps, such as the Pain Buster, cannot be billed under any MBS item (see general explanatory note 13.5).

Psychological Therapy Services and Focussed Psychological Strategies have had a minor amendment made to their Notes M6 and M7 to reflect the correct item number range for referral purposes. ie. 110 to 133.

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