Seeking members' views on Whole Body Perfusion in Australia

10 Jun 2010

The AMA is seeking members’ comments to inform the direction of an AMA submission to the Department of Health and Ageing in response to its consultation paper on Medicare funding for perfusion services.

The Department of Health and Ageing is reviewing current Medicare arrangements for the payment of benefits for whole body perfusion using the heart-lung machine.

In its consultation paper, the Department appears to be implying that a medical perfusionist is not required when a clinical perfusionist is in attendance.  It further notes a dual attendance model where medical and clinical perfusionists work together, is unique to Australia.

For a copy of the Department’s consultation paper, please click on the following link 'Consultation Paper on Perfusion Services'.

To inform and shape the direction of the submission, the AMA would find most useful your comments on:

  • Is there any other country that works on a dual attendance model;
  • What is the medical perfusionist role when a clinical perfusionist is in attendance;
  • When is it clinically necessary for a medical and clinical perfusionist to work together; and
  • For MBS item 22060, does the service provided by medical perfusionist meet the MBS item requirements.

MBS item 22060 for whole body perfusion item description is as follows:

WHOLE BODY PERFUSION, CARDIAC BYPASS, using heart-lung machine or equivalent, not being a service associated with anaesthesia to which an item in Subgroup 21 applies (20 basic units).

Please send all written comments to emijoc@ama.com.au or fax to (02) 6270 5499, titled MBS funding of perfusion services by 2 July 2010.

If you have any questions, or would like a hard copy of the consultation paper posted to you, please contact Ester Mijoc on (02) 6270 5447 or emijoc@ama.com.au.