Clarification regarding MBS claiming for the National Cervical Screening Program

The Department of Health has received a number of enquiries regarding billing for women who present for follow up of a prior Intermediate Risk cervical screening test result.

When ordering the Cervical Screening Test it is critical that the GP provides the pathology laboratory with the correct patient details, clinical presentation and any previous cervical screening history to ensure that the pathology laboratory conducts the right test(s), and selects the correct MBS item number. If this information is not provided, patients may be charged for the test, or have to return for a repeat examination.

Women who are due to have a 12 month follow-up test are sent communications by the NCSR nine months following the original screen date.

MBS Items 73070 and 73072 are for pathology tests undertaken by a pathologist and are only billable by a pathologist. Pathologists need the background history to decide which of these numbers to bill, as 12 month follow up HPV tests are supported by the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) by claiming MBS item number 73072. Unlike 73070, which is intended for primary screening of asymptomatic women, 73072 does not have a time restrictor and can be performed at any time after the date of the original cervical screening test and be eligible for an MBS rebate. You can find out how to correctly order the Cervical Screening Test using thePathology Test Guide for Cervical and Vaginal Testing.

Further information can be found on the National Cervical Screening Program website and MBS Online.

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