1 April 2020 News - Changes to Pathology Services

Changes to detection of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid and item 73336

Page last updated: 19 June 2020


28 May 2020 XML to include pathology items 69476 and 69477
The downloads table on the March download page was updated on 28 May 2020 to include the XML file (MBS XML 200317.xml).
The XML file includes pathology items 69476 and 69477 which can be claimed for services provided between 13 March 2020 to 31 March 2020.

April MBS release
The following MBS items have been amended:

Pathology item 73336
MBS item 73336 has been amended to add encorafenib to the two drugs currently available in this item (dabrafenib and vemurafenib). This will provide an additional PBS listed treatment drug for stage III and IV melanoma patients who receive a BRAF V600 positive test result when their tumour tissue is tested under MBS item 73336.

Pathology detection of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid
On 29 March 2020, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, announced: Whole of population telehealth for patients, general practice, primary care and other medical services to support the response to COVID-19.

The Government has decided that SARS-COV-2 tests provided under MBS item 69485 between 13 March 2020 and 31 March 2020 can be supplemented with an additional MBS rebate payable under a supplementary MBS item. The provider will be required to submit the supplementary item for payment.

From 13 March to 31 March
For consistency, this XML is dated from 17 March 2020 to include the amendments to allow item 69485 to be claimed as a stand-alone test and is not required to be provided in conjunction with a test described in items 69494, 69495 or 69496.
If a pathology laboratory has provided an MBS service described under item 69485 between 13 March 2020 and 31 March 2020, from 1 April 2020 the pathology laboratory may also claim a supplementary fee in addition to item 69485 for the same service (similar to how a bulk billing incentive is claimed):

    Public providers: item 69476 (a supplementary item)
    Private providers: item 69477 (a supplementary item)
    These items cease on 31 March 2020
    These are included in the revised XML file (titled MBS XML 200317.xml) which was updated on 28 May 2020 and is available on the March download page.
From 1 April 2020
A pathology laboratory may claim for services provided from 1 April 2020:
    Public providers: item 69479 (fee is $50.00)
    Private providers: item 69480 (fee is $100.00)
    Item 69485 ceases on 31 March 2020. Items
    These are included in the 1 April 2020 XML, which is available on the April downloads page.