Since 2016 the Medical Specialist Services Branch (MSSB) of the Department of Health has been looking at ways to ensure that Medicare is not used for treatment of cosmetic surgery patients. The timing of this review also coincided with an administrative change which meant that the Medicare Claims Review Panel was no longer within the Department of Health. The anticipated dissolution of the MCRP was a further reason to examine criteria and processes around items that could have the potential to be misused for cosmetic cases.
The MSSB initially identified a wide range of items that they felt were at risk of cosmetic misuse and sought evidence for why they should be retained within the schedule. ASPS Council has worked closely with the Dept of Health to supply them with evidence they required for various procedures, including bilateral breast reduction, rhinoplasty for nasal obstruction, correction of developmental breast asymmetry and correction of congenital ear deformities. With the dissolution of the MCRP there has been more emphasis on a requirement for clinical photographs to be retained within patient records and individual descriptors now have this included where applicable.
The Medical Specialist Services Branch has, of course, also sought input from other external stakeholders and its various internal associated departments. The outcome of this project is the set of changes in the MBS schedule that plans to come into effect on 1st November 2018.
The list of changes can be found here.
ASPS is planning to have a national MBS roadshow, to further explain to members the implications of the new changes and to advise members on any queries they may have. In the meantime, we have prepared a FAQ’s sheet.
We welcome further questions and will update this paper regularly. Please forward questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Member Therapeutic Committee