May 8, 2017

An update to our application for pulmonary rehabilitation on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS)

Pulmonary rehabilitation is an exercise and education program provided by specially trained health professionals such as physiotherapists and accredited exercise physiologists that teaches people with lung disease the skills they need to manage their breathlessness and to stay well and out of hospital.

As you may be aware, Lung Foundation Australia applied to the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) for pulmonary rehabilitation programs to be subsidised on the Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS) in December 2014.

Following the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) meeting on 24 – 25 November 2016, we were advised that the decision to support our application for pulmonary rehabilitation to be subsidised under the MBS was deferred, pending the request for additional information. MSAC recognised that the majority of evidence supports pulmonary rehabilitation in the COPD population, with limited evidence in other disease areas, such as lung cancer, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) and bronchiectasis.

The protocol is currently under assessment with an outcome expected in November 2017. If approved, this means more programs will be available in the community, especially in rural and remote areas, and patients will have the knowledge and power to be able to regain some control over their lung condition. For more information about pulmonary rehabilitation or Lungs in Action visit www.lungfoundation.com.au or phone 1800 654 301.