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06 Jan 2015

Submission to MSAC about pathology expert second opinions

Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) has made a submission to the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) about a proposal to introduce a Medicare rebate for second opinions on pathology testing.

Currently, second opinions on pathology results are usually paid for by the pathology laboratory or are provided at no charge to the woman by expert pathologists.

We understand the importance of accurate and timely pathology results for women with breast cancer, and broadly support a Medicare rebate for any second opinion required for a woman’s pathology report.

In our submission, we raise a number of queries about the financial impact an introduction of a Medicare rebate may have on women with breast cancer.

BCNA believes that the introduction of a Medicare rebate for second opinions could result in women being charged above the Medicare fee, resulting in an out of pocket cost.  Although this would affect a very small number of women, we would be concerned to see this situation arise and have requested clarification on this point from MSAC. We have further queried whether women themselves would be able to request expert second opinions on pathology reports.

We thank members of BCNA's Strategic Advisory Group for their assistance in developing this submission.  The full submission is available to download below.

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