Summary of Item Changes
585, 588, 591, 594
599, 600, 10992
AN.0.9, AN.0.19, AN.0.47, TN.8.5, TN.8.125, TN.10.12, MN.1.2
Introduction of New and Revised Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Items for Urgent After Hours Services
New arrangements for Medicare-funded urgent after-hours services will take effect on 1 March 2018. The new arrangements represent the first phase of the Australian Government’s response to the recommendations of the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce, as announced in the 2017–18 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.
New MBS items for urgent after-hours care have been introduced to better reflect the urgency of the services and the qualifications of the doctors providing the service.
From 1 March 2018, fully trained vocationally registered (VR) GPs and GP registrars will receive a greater MBS rebate for urgent after-hours visits, compared with non-vocationally registered GPs in metropolitan areas.
The level of rebates for regional, rural and remote areas has been maintained, in recognition of the difficulty Australians in these areas may face in accessing after-hours care.
The current rebates for all doctors providing services between 11pm and 7am have also been maintained.
Other changes taking effect on 1 March 2018 include new limitations on inappropriate advertising and the removal of the ability to pre-book urgent consultations before the after-hours period commences.