Professor Brendan Vote spoke in Launceston and Ulverstone on the 1st February 2021 regarding the Final Report on the review of Ophthalmology MBS Items.     

This was a follow up talk from the meeting held in 2019 regarding the proposed changes, that were being put forward.   Regrettably the board have put forward two recommendations to be accepted that will have a significant impact on patients that require sight saving intravitreal injections.

  • Recommendation 7: Reclassifying Item 42738 (intravitreal injections) as Type C procedure used with Private Health Insurance (PHI). This effectively removes an insured patient’s ability to use their private health insurance to cover the costs of their injections in theatre (currently 42738 is a type B procedure which means private health insurance can be used).  The only beneficiary of this change is the Health Funds (most of which are for-profit organisations). 
  • Recommendation 18: Reducing the Medicare benefit to about $95.10 (currently $305.55). This would add an additional ~$200 per injection to any existing out-of-pocket patient expenses incurred for each injection and this additional cost would impact BOTH insured and uninsured patients.  The only beneficiary of this change is government.

The long and short of these two recommendations is that your out-of-pocket expenses will increase by about $200 per injection.  On average patients have 6-8 injections per year for each eye that needs treatment (sometimes as many as 12 injections per eye).

Now is the time to be vocal and contact various members of local, state and federal parliament as outlined below and voice how these changes will affect you.

MEMBERS OF FEDERAL PARLIAMENT - TASMANIA

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

 

FEDERAL HEALTH AND AGED CARE MINISTERS

[email protected] – Health Minister

[email protected] – Senior Australians and Aged Care Services

 

SENATORS - TASMANIA

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]au

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

Click on the link below for more information

https://www.tasmanianeye.org/news/proposed-government-changes-to-intravitreal-injections