Cervical Screening for General Practitioners

Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable and curable of all cancers. Cervical screening looks for human papillomarvirus (HPV), a virus that can cause cells to change. 

Cervical Screening has changed

From 1 December 2017, a number of changes were introduced to the National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP). These included:

  • Replacing the Pap test with the Cervical Screening Test, which detects infection with human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Women whose Cervical Screening Test shows that they do not have oncogenic HPV are classed as 'low risk' and are advised to screen every five years
  • Women will be invited to start screening at 25 years of age and should have a final (exit) test when they are between 70 and 74 years of age
  • Establishing the National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR)

What are we doing to support General Practice with Cervical Screening?

Western Sydney Primary Health Network supports general practitioners with a range of Primary Care Quality Improvement activities.

MBS claiming for the National Cervical Screening Program

There have been a number of enquiries regarding billing for women who present for follow up of a prior intermediate risk Cervical Screening Test result. Women who are due to have a two month follow up test are sent communications by the National Cancer Screening Program (NCSP) nine months after the original screen date. 

Providers are reminded that the 12 month follow up HPV tests are supported by the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) by claiming MBS item number 73072. 

Unlike item number 73070, which is intended for primary screening of asymptomatic women, MBS item number 73072 does not have a time restrictor and can therefore be performed at any time after the date of the original Cervical Screening Test, and be eligible for an MBS rebate. Clinical experts have advised the NCSP that a minimum of nine months should separate the follow up test from the initial screening test. 

More information on these item numbers can be found at MBS Online

Find out more about Cervical Screening

To find out more about Cervical Screening including your role in screening, professional development and resources and publications please visit the Cancer Institute NSW webpage.  

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