DIL.1 Non payment of Medicare Benefits for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) does not attract a Medicare benefit. Although a Medicare benefit for MRI services was payable in respect of services rendered at certain hospitals during the evaluation period of the technology, the benefit was withdrawn from 29 July 1992.
By agreement with the States, the Commonwealth contributes to the funding of MRI in the form of grants to the States. These grants enable the establishment of 18 publicly funded machines attached to neurosurgical units at major public hospitals, and the payment of radiologists to treat eligible private (non-compensible) patients. The grants were effective from 1 February 1992, rendering the Medicare benefit item superfluous.
Patients eligible for Medicare and private (non-compensible) patients are not charged for MRI services at the recognised (public) hospitals specified hereunder:
|Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonard's, NSW||Austin Hospital, Heidelberg, VIC|
|Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, NSW||Princess Alexandra Hospital, Woolloongabba, QLD|
|Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, NSW||Royal Brisbane Hospital, Herston, QLD|
|John Hunter Hospital, New Lambton, NSW||Townsville Hospital, Townsville, QLD|
|Westmead Hospital, Parramatta, NSW||Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, SA|
|Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, VIC||Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park, SA|
|St Vincents Hospital, Fitzroy, VIC||Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, WA|
|Alfred Group of Hospitals, Prahran, VIC||Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, WA|
|Royal Hobart Hospital, Hobart, TAS||Canberra Hospital, Woden, ACT (renamed from Woden Valley Hospital)|
Government policy on MRI is based on the advice of an independent expert committee that access to MRI be improved through the establishment of the publicly funded machines listed above. The policy is concerned to ensure that access to publicly funded MRI is based on demonstrated needs and health outcomes, and that inappropriate diffusion of this expensive health technology does not occur.
DIL.2 Anaesthetic Services Associated with MRI
Medicare benefits are payable under Item 18013 for anaesthetic
services associated with MRI. Benefits are restricted to anaesthetic services
administered in association with MRI services carried out using MRI equipment
located at the hospitals listed above.