Quarterly Medicare Statistics

The Quarterly Medicare Statistics contains data relating to Medicare from September Quarter 1984 onwards.

Page last updated: 07 November 2017

Public Release of Medicare Statistics: 2017-18 Financial Year-to-Date (YTD) July to September

More GP attendances and more benefits paid

In the first quarter (July to September) of the 2017-18 financial year, patients accessed 39.9 million GP services, at a cost in Medicare benefits of $2.0 billion. This compares to 38.1 million services during the same period in 2015-16 at a cost of $1.9 billion in Medicare benefits. This is an increase of 6.0%1 in service volumes and an increase in benefits of 6.8%1 compared to the same period in 2015-16.

More Medicare Services overall

The volume of total Medicare services in the July to September quarter 2017-18 was 103.3 million services, at a cost of $5.8 billion in Medicare benefits. This compares to 98.6 million services during the same period in 2015-16, at a cost of $5.5 billion in Medicare benefits. This is an increase of 6.1%1 in service volumes and an increase in benefits of 6.7%1 compared to the same period in 2015-16.

Patients are receiving more Medicare services that are fully subsidised

In the first quarter (July to September) of the 2017-18 financial year, patients received 80.9 million bulk billed Medicare services compared to 76.6 million during the same period in 2015-16. This represents an additional 4.2 million fully subsidised Medicare services compared to the same period in 2015-16.

Rates of bulk billing for GP attendances, Pathology, Diagnostic Imaging continue to increase

2016-17 YTD Jul-Sep
2017-18 YTD Jul-Sep
Change in % Points
Total GP (excl practice nurse)
85.4
85.9
0.5
Pathology
87.1
87.3
0.2
Diagnostic Imaging
77.4
77.9
0.5
Total Medicare
77.8
78.3
0.5

Explanatory notes

Year-to-Date (YTD)

  • Reporting figures on a YTD basis allows for comparisons between the same periods across quarters, year-to-date and financial years. This corrects for seasonal variations (winter versus summer) and the timing of public holidays.

Understanding Bulk Billing Rates

  • Bulk billing is reported on a year-to-date (YTD) basis over the course of the financial year. The bulk billing rate is calculated, then rounded to one decimal point for reporting purposes.
  • The latest bulk billing figures are for the July 2017 to September 2017 period.
  • Bulk billing data is also reported for individual quarters.
  • Bulk billing data is reported for:
    • All MBS services, by state/territory and remoteness area for 16 Broad Type of Service (BTOS) categories. Each BTOS category typically comprises a set of related MBS group of items.
    • For example, bulk billing data is available for GP and specialist attendances, pathology, diagnostic imaging, practice nurses and allied health services.

Table

Quarterly Medicare Statistics - September Quarter 1984 to September Quarter 2017 (Excel 5.4 MB)

The Department of Health has made every effort to ensure that the Microsoft Excel version of the above documents meets accessibility requirements. If you are experiencing difficulty accessing the information contained within this document, please email MBS.Statistics@health.gov.au to arrange for an alternative format to be provided to you.

1 Adjusted for the number of working days in the period