Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Advisory Committee Draft Report for Open Consultation: Post-implementation review of changes to electrocardiogram (ECG) MBS items

Closes 25 Jul 2024

Opened 13 Jun 2024


The Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) is a list of health professional services (items) that the Australian Government subsidises. MBS items provide patient benefits for a wide range of health services including consultations, diagnostic tests, therapy, and operations.

When changes are made to MBS items, a review is undertaken approximately 24 months after to analyse and examine the performance of the changes. This is called a post-implementation review. Post-implementation reviews provide an opportunity to confirm that the item changes are achieving their intended outcomes.

This is the second post-implementation review of the 1 August 2020 changes made to Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items for electrocardiogram (ECG) services. Changes were first made to MBS items for 12-lead ECG services on 1 August 2020. These involved the removal of 3 MBS items and the inclusion of 4 new MBS items (updated MBS items for trace and report, report only and trace only, and a new MBS item for trace and clinical note), as well as restrictions on who (general practitioners [GPs] or specialists and consultant physicians) could claim each MBS item. These changes were made to improve quality of care and to ensure that ECGs are performed only when clinically necessary, as aligned with best practice.

The first review of the 2020 changes to ECG MBS items took place from March 2021 to January 2022. When this review began, it was already clear that there had been a reduction in the number of ECGs performed following the 2020 changes. However, the review was unable to determine how much of the service decline could be attributed to the MBS item changes and how much was a result of other factors, notably the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on face-to-face consultations and the increased use of telehealth. At the conclusion of the first review, the then Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt, requested that the MBS Review Advisory Committee (the committee) undertake a further review of the changes once an additional 12 months of data were available. The Electrocardiogram Working Group (the working group) was established in March 2023 to undertake this further post-implementation review and provide advice on any impacts to patient access and health outcomes as a result of the 1 August 2020 changes.

Read more about the MBS Continuous Review and the MBS Review Advisory Committee

You can find links to download the draft report developed by the Electrocardiogram Working Group at the end of this page. 

Why your views matter

In undertaking this post-implementation review, the ECG Working Group developed a draft report, which includes a draft recommendation aimed at strengthening and aligning the MBS with its stated principles.

The MRAC seeks views from clinicians, peak bodies, consumers, and other interested parties on this draft report. Your feedback on this report will assist the ECG Working Group in producing its final report.

Your feedback will ensure the ECG Working Group is aware of stakeholder perspectives and experiences as well as any concerns or potential unintended consequences of the draft recommendation found within the report. All responses received will be considered in the finalisation of the post-implementation review of ECG services and the development of a final report.

Give us your views


  • Non-government organisations
  • Health professionals


  • Medicare