March 2020 News - Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine

Implementation of changes to the MBS including Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine which commence on 1 March 2020.

Page last updated: 14 July 2020

The MBS files including PDF and XML are available on the March 2020 Downloads page.

2019-20 Budget measure to amend intensive care and emergency medicine MBS items

Intensive Care

The intensive care items (13815, 13842, 13848, 13851, and 13854) have been updated to reflect current clinical practice.
Item 13847 has been consolidated into 13848 to apply to management of counterpulsation by intraaortic balloon services on any day, including the first. Item 13847 has been deleted.
Six new items for extracorporeal life support have been introduced and one obsolete item 14200 has been removed.
Further information on the intensive care changes is available from the Changes to MBS items for intensive care services factsheets.

Emergency Medicine

The emergency department attendance items (501 – 536) have been restructured into three tiered base items under Group A21 with add-on procedure items under Group T1 to more effectively reflect the level of professional involvement required in emergency medicine services:
    18 new attendance items in Group A21 (5001, 5004, 5011, 5012, 5013, 5014, 5016, 5017, 5019, 5039 and 5041) for emergency medicine specialists and mirror items (5021, 5022, 5027, 5030, 5031, 5032, 5033, 5035, 5036, 5042 and 5044) for medical practitioners to replace 11 existing emergency medicine attendance items (501, 503, 507, 511, 515, 519, 520, 530, 532, 534 and 536).
    18 new emergency medicine procedures items in Group T1 (14255, 14256, 14257, 14258, 14259, 14260, 14263, 14264, 14265, 14266, 14270, 14272, 14277, 14278, 14280, 14283, 14285 and 14288) for emergency medicine specialists and medical practitioners. The items are to be performed in conjunction with the base items and cover the most common therapeutic and procedural services performed in emergency medicine.

Group A21 ‘Medical Practitioner (Emergency Physician) Attendances to Which No Other Item Applies’ has been renamed as ‘Group A21 – Professional Attendances at Recognised Emergency Departments of Private Hospitals’.
Further information on the emergency medicine changes is available from the Changes to emergency medicine services factsheets.


Minor amendment to stroboscopy item 41501 to also refer to malignant vocal fold lesions.

Diagnostic Imaging

Correction to diagnostic imaging item 55721 to align with legislation - a patient needed to have received a service under one of the items 55718, 55722, 55723 or 55726 in order to have claimed item 55721.
The descriptor was missing items 55722 and 55726, which are the NK equivalents of items 55718 and 55723. This correction is not flagged as an amendment in the MBS XML as the correction does not change how MBS benefits are paid.
Relevant legislative changes

Health Insurance Legislation Amendment (Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine) Regulations 2020
Items Changed for 1 March 2020

Deleted Items
New Items
Description Amended
The description to item 55721 has been corrected but is not flagged as an amendment in the MBS XML as the correction does not change how MBS benefits are paid.
Fee Amended