As per previous updates, you will be aware that AMSIG has been actively involved throughout this review. The Government committed to clinician lead, evidenced based review of the MBS. The outcome of the initial review was a recommendation to Minister Hunt to:
"remove the ability for a GP to request MRIs for patients ≥ 50 years of age from the MBS, but retain specialist requesting for any age group."
This was then opened to public consultation:
In June I wrote to Minister Hunt on behalf of AMSIG voicing our concern about this recommendation given the lack of clinical evidence (see letter here*). We received an acknowledgement in October (see response here*). In addition, AMSIG made a submission to the MBS review supporting the RANZCR and ADIA submissions, both of which strongly objected to the age based cut off and provided clinical evidence to support this position.
Our understanding of the process from here is that the MBS review submissions were collated and returned to the Diagnostic Imaging Committee and the MBS Task Force. Despite the submissions of AMSIG, RANZCR and ADIA, the MBS Task Force has again made the final recommendation to Minister Hunt to remove the ability for a GP to request MRIs for patients ≥ 50 years of age from the MBS.
The decision of whether to proceed with this recommendation is now with Minister Hunt. We believe that the Minister is some way from making a final decision. If this is to be implemented, an announcement would be made in the mid-year update (Nov/Dec) 2018. The likely start date would be 1 January 2019.
This is a very disappointing outcome given the Government’s commitment to evidenced based review.
On behalf of AMSIG, I have co signed a joint letter from AMSIG, RANZCR and ADIA to the Minister again objecting to this recommendation. We are waiting on further signatories and will make the letter available in the next update.
Dr Sanjay Dhupelia