AMA Submission - MBS Review report on Neurosurgery, Neurology, Colonoscopy and Orthopaedics

6 May 2019

In March 2019, the AMA provided feedback on the MBS Review Clinical Committee Reports on Neurosurgery, Neurology, Colonoscopy and Orthopaedics. 

The MBS Review Neurosurgery and Neurology Clinical Committee report recommended the development of a standardized national referral form for a number of routine test requests (ie electroencephalography—EEG, nerve conduction studies—NCS, electromyography—EMG and evoked response testing). The AMA submission suggested that that the national referral forms not be made mandatory, but instead guidance be  provided to GPs on what information should be included in a referral form rather than mandating a government designed form. Alternatively, the AMA suggested that a non-mandatory CDS system should be considered in place of a national standardized referral form for ordering of routine neurological tests. 

The AMA expressed concern that the MBS Review Colonoscopy Clinical Committee report maintained that colonoscopy item numbers remain linked to clinical guidelines and are ‘absolute’, with no room for flexibility. 

 The MBS Review Orthopaedics Clinical Committee report covers the biggest group of items yet to be implemented through the review process. As with spinal surgery the recommendations will result in creation of new payment levels for the revised items. Accordingly, the AMA submission called on Government to ensure appropriate planning and introduction of recommendations from the MBS Review. This includes allowing adequate lead time for consultation with private health insurers, the relevant profession/s, peak bodies, and various compensation schemes.