Interim cervical screening MBS rebates and other arrangements

4 May 2017

Doctors are being urged to encourage women to continue with their scheduled cervical cancer screening under the current National Cervical Screening Program regardless of the delay of the new program. There are also important interim arrangements in place from 1 May to 30 November to ensure MBS items for cervical screening continue until the new program begins on 1 December 2017.

  1. A Medicare rebate is now available for the Liquid Based Cytology (LBC) test, set at $36 per test, as well as for the conventional cytology test. However a Medicare rebate is only payable for one cervical screening test for cytology for each patient, either the LBC test or the conventional cytology test.
    If you choose to do both tests, you will need to inform your patient that she will incur an out-of-pocket cost.
  2. Until 1 December 2017, turnaround times for cervical screening test results may be longer than usual as the pathology workforce adjusts to the change but the delays should not pose risks for women.
  3. You may need to liaise with your pathology provider about the scope of cervical screening technologies they offer and for advice about preparing conventional slides or LBC samples.
  4. State and territory registers will continue to send cervical screening reminders and follow up communication to eligible women and their providers until 30 November 2017. You should continue to issue recalls and reminders to patients according to your current procedures.