Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
The Primary Care, Diagnostics and Radiation Oncology Branch of the Department of Health and Ageing is responsible for managing public funding of positron emission tomography services in Australia
Positron Emission Tomography (PET)PET is a nuclear medicine technology that uses short-lived radioisotopes to enable the non-invasive imaging of metabolic functions within the body. While computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) primarily provide information about anatomical structure, PET can image and quantify biochemical and/or physiological function. This is important because functional changes caused by disease are often detectable before any structural abnormalities become evident.
The Medical Services Advisory Committee’s (MSAC) data collection process to assess PET's effectiveness has been completed and associated MSAC assessments have been finalised. It was announced in the 2011-12 Budget that MSAC recommended PET services will be added to the Health Insurance (Diagnostic Imaging Service Table) Regulations 2010, making Medicare rebates available at all Medicare-eligible PET facilities from 1 July 2011.
Claiming Medicare Benefits for PET ScansThe requirements for claiming Medicare Benefits for PET scans are listed in the Diagnostic Imaging Services Table (DIST). They state that the service must be performed by an appropriately qualified person, in a comprehensive facility that can provide a full range of diagnostic imaging services and cancer treatment services, and provided using equipment that meets certain requirements, and only following a referral from a recognised physician or specialist consultant.
All PET providers must complete a PET Provider Statutory Declaration prior to being eligible to claim Medicare rebates. Statutory declarations can be obtained directly from Medicare Australia.
Additionally, as PET items are located on the DIST, all sites must be accredited under the department’s Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme prior to performing Medicare-rebatable PET scans.
For further information please email Diagnostic Imaging and Accreditation.