No change to Medicare rebate for pathology services

Friday, 29 April 2016


“The Coalition Government has made no changes to Medicare rebates for pathology services, including common blood tests and pap smears.

“The changes announced in the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) relate to an inefficient payment – worth between $1.40 and $3.40 – that is paid direct to pathology corporations and is entirely separate to the Medicare rebate.

“This bulk billing incentive payment was introduced in 2009 at a cost of $500 million over five years. However, the bulk billing rates for pathology are at similar levels now as they were prior to the introduction of the incentive payment.

“But for patients, there is no change to the Medicare rebates for diagnostic imaging or pathology services.

“It is only a separate payment paid to diagnostic imaging and pathology providers that is changing for general patients.

“A recent report produced by the Grattan Institute confirms there are no justifiable grounds for large pathology corporations to introduce a $30 co-payment for blood, urine and pap smear tests based on the loss of a small inefficient payment worth just $1.40 to $3.40.”

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