Specialists’ Fee Doubled For Complex Cataract Procedures
The Government is introducing a new schedule fee (rebate) for complex cataract surgeries, which will more than double the amount provided for more common, less time consuming cataract procedures.
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9 October 2009
In the 2009-10 Budget, the Government announced that following technological advancements that enable most cataract procedures to be performed faster, at less cost and with better results, it would revise the Medicare schedule fee for these procedures. A lower fee would be paid for common, quicker procedures and a higher fee paid for longer, more complex procedures.
As promised in the Budget, and following consultations with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists, the Government is introducing a new schedule fee (rebate) of $850.75 for complex cataract surgeries. This is more than double the amount provided for more common, less time consuming cataract procedures.
The new complex cataract item will be available to any patient requiring a complex cataract extraction of 40 minutes or more.
In setting this higher fee the Government is recognising that some procedures are more complex and take longer to complete. This fee, which is more than double the fee for normal cataract procedures, appropriately rewards specialists for the additional time they invest in longer procedures.
The majority of cataract procedures, which take around 20 minutes to perform, will attract the revised fee of $416.85.
While all Australians requiring complex cataract surgery will benefit from the introduction of the item, this higher payment will particularly benefit to Indigenous Australians who often require more complex cataract procedures.
For all media inquiries, please contact the Minister's Office on 02 6277 7220.
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