Better scan rebates under new Medicare funding

New rebates for x-rays and ultrasounds come into effect from July next year. Picture: Jessica Shapiro
New rebates for x-rays and ultrasounds come into effect from July next year. Picture: Jessica Shapiro

Out-of-pocket medical expenses for people who need life-saving scans including ultrasounds and x-rays will be reduced from mid-next year.

The federal government has injected almost $200 million into providing greater rebates for the services under Medicare.

For the first time in 20 years the indexation of Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items will be expanded to all ultrasound and diagnostic radiology services over three years from July 1, 2020.

It means rebates for about 90 per cent of all diagnostic imaging services will be indexed.

This includes X-rays for fractures, mammograms, pregnancy ultrasounds, echocardiograms, angiograms, image guided procedures and CT scans for the diagnosis and management of cancer.

More than nine million Australian patients use diagnostic imaging services each year.

This investment also aims to encourage diagnostic imaging providers to maintain or increase their level of bulk-billing.

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