ARGANZ, acting on behalf of RANZCR, has been the lead applicant campaigning for a liver MRI rebate. After an extensive process this has now been approved for two patient populations. The first is patients with colorectal carcinoma and suspected liver metastases for the purpose of characterisation or interventional planning. The second patient population is patients with chronic liver disease (Childs-Pugh A&B) with known or suspected hepatocellular carcinoma and a liver lesion over 10mm. An additional item number has been created to co-claim hepatobiliary contrast agents, recognising that these are considerably more expensive for providers. The item numbers are likely to become active in May 2019.
Unfortunately the application for liver MRI for patients with suspected focal nodular hyperplasia/adenoma was rejected by MSAC as it was viewed to be not economically viable, despite the higher accuracy and absence of radiation.
Further information regarding the approved item number and the proposed item descriptors can be found in the Public Summary document at http://msac.gov.au/internet/msac/publishing.nsf/Content/1372.1-public
ARGANZ is delighted to announce a collaboration with ESGAR, allowing us to bring more abdominal imaging educational content to our members. Free access to the recorded content of past ESGAR meetings will be available to ARGANZ members until the end of 2018. To access log into the ARGANZ website and go to the resources tab / education offers / ESGAR offer.
We thank ESGAR for their willingness to collaborate with ARGANZ.
CT Colonography (CTC) is a very useful test which is currently underutilised in Australia. ARGANZ has provided an update on this topic which is available
Current literature demonstrates that CTC is equivalent to OC for the detection of polyps with advanced histology and that no significant cancers are missed when cathartic and faecal tagging agents are used.
The New Zealand society of Gastroenterology suggests that symptomatic patients who; are >80yrs, have relevant co-morbidities including respiratory risk from sedation, have an abdominal mass or have had a failed or incomplete colonoscopy, are referred to CTC rather than OC.
The key issues include
ARGANZ is committed to helping our members to promote the availability and appropriateness of CTC to their referrers and to make the test more widely available to those in rural areas.
A new MSAC application will be started to expand Medicare funding to patients who do not have timely access to optical colonoscopy.
The full ARGANZ update on CTC is available
A useful fact sheet about CTC for discussion with referrers is available
ARGANZ is deligted to see the announcement of the Medicare rebate for Prostate MRI. One aspect of Prostate MRI which has concerned radiologists and urologists working in this area, is the potential for inexperienced radiologists to issue substandard reports if there is sudden increase in demand for this service. If you are new to prostate MRI reporting, we suggest you look for a workshop, mentor or teaching program to assist you in upskilling.
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