Skin Cancer: Insurers get under skin of doctors on surgery costs
August 31, 2017
The Health Department has been forced to intervene in a dispute between health funds, doctors and private hospitals over skin procedures that left some members with unexpected bills. The Department of Health, in consultation with the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, last year altered the item numbers relating to skin lesion procedures listed on the Medicare Benefits Schedule and for which insurance funding also applies. With Australia having one of the highest rates of skin cancer, and a burgeoning screening industry, the difference between plastic and cosmetic surgery is often hotly debated and centres on clinical judgment.