1 April 2020 News – Changes to Pathology Services

Changes to detection of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid and item 73336

Page last updated: 31 March 2020

NEWS - April MBS release
The following MBS items have been amended.

Pathology item 73336
MBS item 73336 has been amended to add encorafenib to the two drugs currently available in this item (dabrafenib and vemurafenib). This will provide an additional PBS listed treatment drug for stage III and IV melanoma patients who receive a BRAF V600 positive test result when their tumour tissue is tested under MBS item 73336.

Pathology detection of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid
On 29 March 2020, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, announced: Whole of population telehealth for patients, general practice, primary care and other medical services to support the response to COVID-19.

The Government has decided that SARS-COV-2 tests provided under MBS item 69485 between 13 March 2020 and 31 March 2020 can be supplemented with an additional MBS rebate payable under a supplementary MBS item. The provider will be required to submit the supplementary item for payment.

From 13 March to 31 March
If a pathology laboratory has provided an MBS service described under item 69485 between 13 March 2020 and 31 March 2020, from 1 April 2020 the pathology laboratory may also claim a supplementary fee in addition to item 69485 for the same service (similar to how a bulk billing incentive is claimed):

    Public providers: item 69476 (a supplementary item)
    Private providers: item 69477 (a supplementary item)
    These items cease on 31 March 2020
From 1 April 2020
A pathology laboratory may claim for services provided from 1 April 2020:
    Public providers: item 69479 (fee is $50.00)
    Private providers: item 69480 (fee is $100.00)
    Item 69485 ceases on 31 March 2020. Items
These are included in the 1 April 2020 XML, which is available on the April downloads page. These will be included in the April 2020 MBS Book files (PDF, DOC and ZIP), which will be available to download in early April.