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Information about MBS items for multidisciplinary cancer care

Information about MBS items for multidisciplinary cancer care

On 1 November 2006, two Medicare Benefit Schedule items were introduced providing rebates for participation by medical practitioners in multidisciplinary treatment planning meetings for cancer patients.

Who can claim the items?

Item 871 can be claimed by a medical practitioner from any area of medical practice (defined in the item descriptor as a specialist, consultant physician or general practitioner) who is leading and coordinating a multidisciplinary case conference to develop a multidisciplinary treatment plan for a patient with cancer. The lead practitioner is responsible for ensuring that records of the meeting are kept and that the patient is informed of the outcomes from the meeting 

Item 872 can be claimed by a medical practitioner from any area of medical practice (defined in the item descriptor as a specialist, consultant physician or general practitioner) who is participating in a multidisciplinary case conference to develop a multidisciplinary treatment plan for a patient with cancer.

Only treating medical practitioners can claim the items – that is those who have treated or provided a formal diagnosis of the patient’s cancer in the past 12 months or expect to do so within the next 12 months.

Under this definition, a ‘treating medical practitioner’ would include the pathologist or radiologist who provided a formal diagnosis of the patient’s cancer prior to the meeting, or a radiation oncologist who will prescribe radiotherapy for the patient but does not expect to have contact with the patient until some months after the meeting.

Non-treating clinicians, allied health providers and support staff are not eligible to claim the item. This includes doctors who may provide an opinion in the meeting but who are not members of the patient’s treatment team.

Under this definition, a surgeon who provides an opinion in the meeting but who will not be operating on the patient would not be eligible to claim the item.

 

Other relevant MBS items

Items 721 to 732: multidisciplinary care plans (medical practitioner other than specialist or consultant physician)

For more information go to: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/mbsonline/publishing.nsf/Content/Medicare-Benefits-Schedule-MBS-1