More than 900 health services and procedures eligible for government rebates are set to change on 1 July 2021, which are set to make many procedures significantly cheaper for Australians.
The Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) item changes are supposed to reflect contemporary modern practice buoyed by procedures that are quicker and less complex to carry out. At the same time, the cost of medical devices and tools have lowered, rather than outdated pricing and items that cost consumers, private health insurers and the government.
Some of the most extensive areas that will receive reform in the medical field include orthopaedic surgery, cardiac surgery and general surgery. These changes should lead to increased rebates for specific procedures, but a current concern is that these changes may increase out-of-pocket costs.
Another is the timing of the announcement. Medical professionals are now being faced with implementing the changes to the MBS in a month – an impossible task, many feel.
With some of the to-be-implemented changes revolving around rules, the ways items are used by doctors and not allowing doctors to use multiple items to describe one operation, medical professionals need to decide how they will action these changes in their practice.
For many, the timing of the implementation is of the most serious concern, with pushes for more time to accommodate the needed restructures from medical professionals and insurance providers.