MBS - New Spinal Surgery Schedule

24 Sep 2018


From 1 November 2018, the Government’s changes to the MBS items for spinal surgery will replace existing spinal surgery services.

The changes include:

  • replacing the existing surgical schedule of 74 spinal services with around 60 service items;
  • removing three services identified as obsolete (an item for intradiscal injection of chymopapain, and two items for manipulation of spine, performed in an operating theatre); and
  • introducing new rules to ensure that claiming is consistent and appropriate.

The Government’s changes will also clarify that MBS items for spinal fusion must not be claimed for treatment of uncomplicated axial chronic lower back pain.  Further information on the changes is available at the Department of Health's website provided at the link below.

The Department of Health hosted an educational forum on 14 September 2018 which was recorded and is available for viewing for 12 months at the link provided below. The forum covered:

  •  Background on the review
  • The structure of the new spinal surgery schedule
  • Examples of how to claim in the new spinal surgery schedule
  • Future compliance activity
  • Q&A session

For advice on Medicare billing for Spinal surgery services please contact the Department of Human Services (Medicare) on telephone 132 150

Choose Option 2 – Provider registrations, claiming, payment and general enquiries, or if you have received a letter from the Australian Health Practitioner (24 hours, 7 days), or Email: medicare.prov@humanservices.gov.au

Choose Option 3  – For questions about the interpretation of items in the MBS (Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm local time), or Email: askmbs@humanservices.gov.au