PHONE: 1300 HEART 1 (1300 43278 1)
FAX: 03 8582 6966
ADDRESS: Suite 5, 2 Enterprise Drive, Bundoora VIC 3083

Date: 30/07/2020

Dear All,

From the 1st of August 2020, there will be sweeping changes to the MBS Item Numbers on echocardiography including both stress echocardiography and transthoracic echocardiography, ECG and Holter monitoring.  This was done after an extensive review and consultation mainly in the Cardiology community with inputs from the different subspecialties and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand, with a view to reflecting appropriate clinical practice.  Whereas, most procedures can be done similar to all of our current practice, there are new restrictions in place particularly the frequency of each of the major tests.

As a summary:

1. Transthoracic echocardiogram

– baseline study restricted to once every 24 months period
– repeat studies during this period are currently limited to the following and will need clinical justification for
a. review of valvular heart disease, i.e. aortic stenosis surveillance
b. review of structural heart disease and heart failure, i.e.
c. frequent serial echocardiography, i.e. monitoring of LV function on patients with cardiotoxic oncology treatment if previous study was normal
d. review of rare cardiac conditions, i.e. intracardiac tumor assessment

2. Stress echocardiogram

– baseline study restricted to once every 24 months period
– repeat study within the 24-month time frame but restricted to once every 12 months and in the proviso that this can only be
requested by a specialist or consultant physician

3. Holter monitoring

– restricted to once every 4 week period

To qualify for the above services and MBS benefits

1. We would require more clinical data for the reason for requesting the test – i.e. please specify the clinical condition and indication such as CAD, recent MI and to reassess LV systolic function rather than simply “CPFI”; for preop assessment, if a patient had a previous study in the last 24 months, we would require clinical cardiac indication rather than simply “for TKR/preop assessment”
2. All requests should be signed by the specialist/consultant
3. Please be mindful of the timing restrictions.