Ama welcomes lifting of freeze on diagnostic imaging Medicare rebates

AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said today that the AMA welcomes the long overdue announcement by the Government that the freeze on most Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) rebates for diagnostic imaging will finally end.

Dr Bartone said that the AMA has been urging appropriate indexing of rebates for radiology, ultrasound, and other scans for many years.

“Diagnostic imaging rebates have been frozen since 1998,” Dr Bartone said.

“This has placed enormous pressure on doctors and patients.

“There will now be small increases from July 2020 to the MBS rebate for ultrasounds and x-rays, CT scans, fluoroscopy, mammography, and interventional radiology scans.

“This is an important first step in addressing rising out-of-pocket costs for patients.”

Dr Bartone said that investment in high-quality diagnostic imaging services also makes good economic sense.

“It ultimately saves taxpayers from much higher downstream costs in the acute care sector,” Dr Bartone said.

“Diagnostic imaging plays a critical role in a world-class, 21st-century health system. Without it, many modern medical treatments would not be possible.”

Diagnostic imaging is used:

  • for diagnosis and screening;
  • to formulate treatment plans and monitor responses to treatments;
  • to perform minimally invasive procedures; and
  • as part of interventional procedures.

The AMA’s Position Statement on Diagnostic Imaging is at

19 March 2019

/Public Release. View in full here.