Generally, each review was conducted following a two-stage process involving the development of a review protocol and evidence-based evaluation of the service under review. As most of these have been completed, the following information is provided for historical purposes. Future MBS reviews will be undertaken by the MBS Review Taskforce.
The review protocol outlines the objective, scope and methodologies for the review and defines the clinical research questions and assessment strategy. The findings and evidence-based analysis that addresses the clinical research questions outlined in the review protocol are presented in the review report.
An overview of the entire process is outlined below:
Description of Process of MBS review (above image) (Text 1 KB)
GovernanceThe Department of Health manages the reviews, and engages independent consultants with experience in health services evaluation to undertake evidence-based analysis. Reviews are also supported by a review working group (RWG) and the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC).
Review Working GroupsA RWG is established for each review to ensure the review reflects an understanding of current Australian clinical practice and draws valid conclusions from the available evidence. Members are clinical experts in the field being reviewed and identified by - although not representing - clinical craft groups, and are appointed on the basis of their individual skill, knowledge and expertise.
MSACMSAC is an independent expert committee that provides advice to the Minister for Health on the strength of the evidence relating to the comparative safety, clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of any new or existing medical service or technology, and the circumstances under which public funding should be supported through listing on the MBS.
In relation to MBS reviews, MSAC and its sub-committees (the Protocol Advisory Sub-Committee (PASC) and the Evaluation Sub-Committee (ESC)) will:
- provide comment on the draft review protocol, with a particular focus on the proposed methods and clinical research questions;
- consider the draft review report with a particular focus on the assessment of evidence; and
- consider the outcomes of the review prior to advice being formulated for government.
Stakeholder EngagementIndustry, the general public and other interested parties are encouraged to participate in the review process during the release of review protocols for public consultation.
Feedback on review protocols is sought to ensure the clinical research questions and PICO (population, intervention, comparator, outcome) criteria are appropriate, both of which underpin the entire review.
Public consultation is generally undertaken for four (4) weeks, and any feedback received is considered by the Department, RWG and PASC before a decision is made as to whether the protocol needs to be amended to incorporate the feedback.
Review OutcomesWhere an evaluation suggests that an item under review is supported by evidence, the likely recommendation will be that the MBS listing be retained in its current form. However, should an evaluation suggest that listed MBS items or services are inconsistent with contemporary evidence in relation to its clinical use or effectiveness, direct amendments to the MBS may be recommended.
Completed and Ongoing ReviewsInformation on the ongoing or completed reviews of existing MBS items can be found on the Reviews under CMFM for the MBS and the MBS Quality Framework page. For further information, please contact MBS Reviews.
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