6 October 2021

The MBS item numbers we really need

Humoural Theory

The current MBS item list isn’t fit for purpose, says one medico-legal expert, despite the years of work done by the MBS Review Taskforce. 

“The current situation is far too complex and there are far too many pitfalls,” Professor Candid told The Medical Republic, “and it doesn’t reflect the day-to-day challenges seen in general practice”. 

As a result Professor Candid has composed an alternative list of billing codes, including: 

1278: For refusing to write a mask exemption letter 

1279: For refusing to write a vaccine exemption letter 

2865: For a Centrelink certificate when the patient’s only problem is that they have the same fat content as a pork scratching

4536: If 20 minutes into a rambling consultation the patient says: “And lucky last, I’ve had chest pain and dizziness for the past two days.” 

003: To be used if the patient asks for a note for the gym so they can blame you when it all goes wrong. What are you, their mum? 

42: Can be billed if the patient opens with a deep sigh and says “Well, doctor have I got a list for you today!” 

3652: If you don’t know the patient from Adam and they come in asking for endone for their back/dental pain because it’s the only thing that works and they’re allergic to everything else including paracetamol

72298: This code can only be used if the patient opens the consultation with “Well doctor, where do I start?”

72299: If you reply with “How about somewhere near the end?” 

5123: If the patient says something like “I know you’re running late but I’d like my three children to be checked over as well, just in case.” 

548: If the patient is only in your consulting room because her psychic/naturopath/best friend recommends she gets her adrenals/thyroid/serotonin levels checked

644: To be used if the patient says “I’m here about my dicky thyroid” when there is bugger all wrong with their thyroid

3000: To be used for anything else

Professor Candid believes that this list of item codes, updated for the needs of 2021, should help GPs working at the coalface.

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6 Comments on "The MBS item numbers we really need"

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Ariane Cullen
Ariane Cullen
1 day 12 hours ago

fantastic, thanks!: I’d also add Item 1000 : we’ve come to see you as no other GPs have chased up on that urgent psychiatrist appointment they suggested and now my son’s finals are in 2 weeks and his (longstanding untreated) ADHD is making him suicidal- and sorry you only had a 15 min appointment slot left.

Stephen Chow
Stephen Chow
1 day 15 hours ago

Thumb up !

Kylie Fardell
Kylie Fardell
7 days 12 hours ago

Love all of Professor Candid’s musings, but this one is my favourite. Thank-you!

Peter Bradley
Peter Bradley
13 days 8 hours ago

Indeed…what item and value might one place on two consults I’ll always remember, where twice in the same week, late middle-aged men, both heading overseas, each, virtually as they were to go out the door, said…”I don’t think it means anything doc, but just lately I’ve has some chest discomfort going up hills or stairs”. They both ended up with CABGs..! Needless to say the overseas trips were put on hold – but they did get there – just later on…

15 days 4 hours ago

Love this art
Make my agonising day laughable