Updates from the Department of Health Private Health Industry Branch

On 1 January and 1 March 2022, the Australian Government will make a range of changes to MBS items. The Department seeks stakeholder views on the proposed private health insurance clinical categorisation and procedure type classification for the items in the attached spreadsheet; please note the details are subject to the finalisation of approval processes and registration on the Federal Register of Legislation. These changes were announced as part of the Federal Budget 2021-22 Guaranteeing Medicare – Updating the Medicare Benefits Schedule measure.

Gynaecology Services

Changes from 1 March 2022 to Gynaecology services include changes to items for the insertion of intrauterine devices and outpatient diagnostic hysteroscopy, rebating gonadotrophin-stimulated ovulation induction, along with restructuring gynaecology oncology service items to better reflect current practice. These changes were announced following recommendations made by the MBS Review Taskforce (Taskforce final report – Gynaecology MBS items).

Comments on the proposed private health insurance classifications and categorisations can be sent to PHI@health.gov.au by COB Monday 13 December 2021.

Pain Management MBS Items

On 1 March 2022 changes will be made to a number of pain management MBS items. These changes were announced following recommendations made by the MBS Review Taskforce in their Taskforce final report – Pain Management MBS items.

The new and amended items descriptors for pain management are provided in the attached spreadsheet. Please note the item changes are subject to the passage of legislation. The final item descriptors will be distributed once the associated regulatory amendments have been approved.

Comments on the proposed private health insurance classifications and categorisations can be sent to PHI@health.gov.au by Wednesday 15 December 2021.

Varicose veins procedure type proposed changes

The Department seeks stakeholder views on the proposed private health insurance procedure type classification for the varicose vein MBS items in the attached spreadsheet. Following feedback on varicose veins MBS items, unrelated to the 1 November 2021 MBS item changes, the Department has reviewed claiming patterns of items 32504 and, 32520-29 and is proposing changes to the procedure type for some of these items.

In particular, the Department are seeking feedback on the significant increase between 2018-19 and 2019-20 in the proportion of MBS items 32520/22 (relating to use of cyanoacrylate adhesive) provided as day only hospital treatment. This feedback will be used to support a decision on the proposal to include these items as Type B Non-band specific.

Comments on the proposed private health insurance classifications can be entered into the feedback column of the spreadsheet and emailed to PHI@health.gov.au by COB Monday 13 December 2021.

PHIB Regulatory Amendments and Consultations Calendar
Week ending 3 December – click here