A better MBS for rural and remote Australians

A better MBS for rural and remote Australians Conference Paper

14th National Rural Health Conference: A World of Rural Health

  • Author(s): Usherwood, T
  • Secondary Author(s): Coleman, Leanne
  • Published: 2017
  • Publisher: National Rural Health Alliance

Abstract: Background: The MBS Review Taskforce is undertaking an independent clinician-led review of the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS). This is the first comprehensive review in 30 years of the 5,700 items covered in the MBS. The priority with this Review is to ensure that the items on the MBS are aligned with contemporary clinical evidence and practice and improve health outcomes for all Australians. The Taskforce will also seek to identify any services that may be unnecessary, outdated or potentially unsafe. The Taskforce is committed to providing recommendations to Government that will allow the MBS to deliver on each of these key goals: affordable and universal access best practice health services value for the individual patient value for the health system. The clinical review of MBS items, ranging from consultations, procedures and diagnostics is carried out by discipline specific clinical committees and working groups. At the same time the MBS Principles and Rules Committee appointed by the Taskforce are reviewing the enforceable rules and regulations underpinning the MBS so they are up-to-date and support contemporary clinical practice. To date, more than 300 clinicians and approximately 40 Clinical Committees and working groups have been reviewing the items, line-by-line. Rural and remote consultation: A key part of the Review is continuing and widespread consultation with rural and remote health professionals and patients. Our community consultations have highlighted the diversity of needs of patients in urban and rural and remote Australia and the need for different methods of supporting rural and remote clinicians and their patients as they access care. Rural and remote consultation will continue to be integral to the MBS Review process and feedback on the impact of the recommendations in rural and remote Australia is invited and welcomed. This feedback will be closely considered by the Taskforce Clinical Committees and the Taskforce when final recommendations are delivered to government. Professor Bruce Robinson, Chair of the Taskforce, has been on the road this year in QLD, NT and Tasmania listening to the unique challenges facing health professionals and patients in rural and remote Australia with further plans for more rural consultations in 2017. We will report progress of the General Practice and Primary Care Clinical Committee.

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Suggested Citation
Usherwood, T, 2017, A better MBS for rural and remote Australians, Conference Paper, viewed 01 December 2021, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=12080.

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