Medicare Benefits Schedule - new and amended listings

This measure will introduce new items and make changes to existing services that can be claimed under Medicare.

This measure started on 1 September 2015.

Description of the measure

This measure will introduce new items and make changes to existing services that can be claimed under Medicare.

From 1 September 2015, new listings will make Medicare benefits available for:

  • catheter-free ambulatory pH testing for the diagnosis of Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) in patients who:
    • have failed catheter-based pH monitoring, or
    • are not suitable for catheter-based pH monitoring due to anatomical reasons (nose and throat anatomy)
  • remotely monitoring people with implanted cardiac devices
  • targeted intraoperative radiotherapy to treat early-stage breast cancer
  • optometrists removing embedded corneal foreign bodies
  • optometrists who support patients during telehealth consultations with ophthalmologists
  • a computed tomography colonography item which replaces 2 existing computed tomography colonography items. The new item restricts access to 1 service per patient in any 3-year period. It increases the number of eligible patients by extending the list of contraindications to colonoscopy. The associated fee is reduced

From 1 September 2015, the amended listing includes:

  • a 30% increase in Medicare benefit paid for some general and paediatric operations performed on children under 10 years of age

From 1 November 2015, 2 new listings will make Medicare benefits available for:

  • requesting a second expert opinion on a morphological pathology for bone marrow specimens, tissue pathology and cytopathology (excluding gynaecology), where the original pathologist and the specialist or general practitioner involved in the care of the patient are in agreement that a second opinion is required for diagnostic purposes

From 1 November 2015, the amended listing includes:

  • an ‘exceptional circumstances’ provision will be introduced to enable the transfer of intrapartum care from one eligible midwife to another eligible midwife, within a 12 hour period in situations that necessitate this in the interests of patient safety. Midwives are permitted to take meal breaks and other necessary short breaks while caring for their patients. No new Medicare Benefits Schedule rebates would be paid to cover the cost of the midwife taking these breaks

Questions and answers

Who will be affected by this measure

Patients impacted by the above new or amended listings. Health professionals who undertake the above new or amended listings.

Who is eligible for this measure

Patients and health professionals who access the above new or amended listings.

The date this measure will start and finish

The new and amended listings on the Medicare Benefits Schedule will have individual start dates identified in the description of the measure. They are ongoing.

Page last updated: 15 March 2016

This information was printed Sunday 25 September 2016 from humanservices.gov.au/corporate/budget/budget-2015-16/budget-measures/health-matters-and-health-professionals/medicare-benefits-schedule-new-and-amended-listings It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at humanservices.gov.au/siteinformation when using this material.