Submission to the Department of Health – Changes to MBS items for thoracic medicine

Last updated 26 July 2019


Date: 26 July 2019

The RACGP has provided a submission to the Department of Health on changes to MBS items for thoracic medicine (respiratory function tests and sleep studies) that were introduced in November 2018.

The changes were informed by the recommendations from the MBS Review Taskforce, following a review of relevant items by the Thoracic Medicine Clinical Committee (TMCC).

The RACGP submission recommends that the Department:

  • clarify the circumstances in which items 11505 and 11506 can be claimed by amending the descriptors for these items
  • reassess the rebate value for office-based spirometry
  • ensure that there is capacity to claim an MBS rebate for spirometry not requiring reversibility testing
  • develop a defined list of conditions to determine eligibility of patients with a high pre-test probability of sleep apnoea for a diagnostic sleep study
  • allow professional bodies, such as the RACGP, the opportunity to review and provide comment on draft fact sheets to ensure they are useful when communicating changes to providers
  • collaborate with providers and referrers themselves, including members of relevant MBS Review sub-committees, to develop fact sheets and other communications materials in relation to MBS changes
  • provide further communications to sleep medicine specialists regarding when the completion of assessment tools are required and when they are not.