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Message from the President about Cardiac Imaging MBS Changes

Monday 21, Sep 2020

Dear Members past and present,

As a society of 50 years standing, it is important to maintain good relationships with other organisations, including government bodies - there is no benefit to being rude or insulting to others.  We are regular contributors and usually voice our thoughts in a firm but gentle manner behind the scenes.  Just this month alone we have made three submissions to government departments and agencies.   But communication must go both ways, which is why I am writing about our overt action on the matter of cardiac imaging reimbursement. We first voiced our concerns back in 2018 and have made several submissions since then, all seemingly ignored.  Attached below is a press release that we and seven other organisations worked on with the AMA.  These other bodies listed have also separately written to the Federal Health minister.  I was hopeful of more coverage over the weekend, but it hasn't been the case.


What we want

In summary, the changes remove Medicare funding for patients having Myocardial Perfusion Scans under some conditions, unless they have already had a stress echocardiogram and/or a specialist appointment.  Stress echo cardiograms may not be the most appropriate test for some patients, and even when it is a good alternative test,  in many areas it is not available or has long waiting lists.  Ultimately Medicare funding is a decision for government, but it should be based on expert advice.  In this case we have invested a lot of time and energy providing such advice but it seems none of it has been taken into account.  Very few Myocardial Perfusion Scansare are self-referred, so these referrals are based on what the primary care physician considers to be the best outcome for their patients.  We simply want a patient to have the most appropriate test without having to pay the full fee out of pocket.

What you can do

If you are on social media or indeed want to approach your Federal MP or similar then please do so. If you can review (like/share) that would be appreciated, or else if you can follow us. It seems politicians respond to these sorts of agitation more.

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Thanks for your time in reading this. I appreciate your ongoing involvement in our Society.