This report focuses on two key measures (calculated on a monthly and annual basis):
- The number of MBS services per person. Referred to as the MBS services rate or services rate.
- The proportion of the fees charged by providers that were subsidised by the MBS as opposed to being paid through patient contributions (for example, by out-of-pocket payments or private health insurance). This measure is referred to as the MBS subsidy rate or subsidy rate.
The MBS subsidy rate differs from the ‘bulk billing’ rate often cited elsewhere. The bulk billing rate generally refers to the proportion of all MBS funded services that were fully subsidised through the MBS (i.e. the proportion of services where there was no patient contribution). The MBS subsidy rate, on the other hand, refers to the proportion of the fees received by providers for MBS funded services that came through the MBS (as opposed to being paid by patient contributions or other arrangements). This assists with developing an understanding of the relative amount of money contributed through the MBS over time as opposed to patient contributions or other sources.