FAQ anaesthesia items

FAQ summary

Page last updated: 12 September 2019

Changes to Anaesthesia MBS items FAQs

Last updated: 9 September 2019

This change is effective from 1 November 2019.

A factsheet summarising what the changes are, why the changes have been made, how it will affect stakeholders and what they need to do is available on MBS Online at http://www.mbsonline.gov.au/internet/mbsonline/publishing.nsf/Content/factsheet-current

More information about the change is provided below, in response to frequently asked questions. If you cannot find the information you need, please contact the Department of Health at askMBS@health.gov.au.

To subscribe to future MBS Online updates, visit www.mbsonline.gov.au and click ‘Subscribe’.


Why are the changes being made?

From 1 November 2019 there will be a revised structure of items for anaesthesia services.

The Taskforce found that some anaesthesia items were overly complex, did not reflect current clinical practice and some items needed to be clarified.

The changes to anaesthesia services have been made to encourage best practice, improve patient outcomes and reduce low value care.

These changes are a result of a review by the Taskforce, which was informed by the Anaesthesia Clinical Committee (ACC) and extensive discussion with key stakeholders. More information about the Taskforce and associated Committees is available in Medicare Benefits Schedule Review in the consumer section of the Department of Health website (www.health.gov.au). A full copy of the Taskforce’s final report can be found at: Taskforce report on Anaesthesia MBS itemsHow have these changes been communicated to stakeholders?

Prior to the 1 November 2019 listing, the Department circulated communication materials (including factsheets about the changes) to relevant professional groups in September 2019 and encouraged dissemination of these materials to other members and fellows. Information was also made available through the MBS website (www.mbsonline.gov.au).

Claiming anaesthesia services from 1 November 2019

What items should be claimed for anaesthesia/perfusion time units under two hours?

Anaesthesia/perfusion time units under two hours have been consolidated so that one item represents a 15 minute interval with a set schedule fee. Mapping of these items is provided below.

Deleted ItemsNew ItemNew MBS Online Descriptor
23021, 23022, 230232302516 MINUTES TO 30 MINUTES
23031, 23032, 230332303531 MINUTES to 45 MINUTES
23041, 23042, 230432304546 MINUTES TO 1:00 HOUR
23051, 23052, 23053230551:01 HOURS TO 1:15 HOURS
23061, 23062, 23063230651:16 HOURS TO 1:30 HOURS
23071, 23072, 23073230751:31 HOURS TO 1:45 HOURS
23081, 23082, 23083230851:46 HOURS TO 2:00 HOURS
What item can be claimed for introduction of a regional or field nerve block which was previously claimed under items 22040, 22045 or 22050?

Services that were previously claimed under items 22040, 22045 and 22050 can be claimed under the new 22041 from 1 November 2019.


    22041: Introduction of a plexus or nerve block proximal to the lower leg or forearm, perioperatively performed in the induction room, theatre or recovery room, for post-operative pain management.


What item should banding of haemorroids be claimed under as of 1 Novmember 2019?

Item 20902 has been amended and banding of haemorrhoids can no longer be claimed under this item. Anaesthesia for anorectal endoscopic procedures (which includes banding of haemorrhoids) should be claimed under item 20810.