The implantation of Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) devices, one of the current methods for managing glaucoma, has been excluded from Medicare funding in Australia following legislative changes.
After a detailed assessment by the Australian and New Zealand Glaucoma Interest Group (ANZGIG), the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists’ (RANZCO) position was that item 42758 (goniotomy) was appropriate for insertion of MIGS devices. However, in December 2016 RANZCO was advised that the Department of Health’s Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) ruled that the implantation of MIGS devices represents a new procedure which is not covered by item 42758. MSAC has therefore recommended the following change to the descriptor of item 42758 which comes into effect on 1 May 2017:
‘MBS item 4275B Goniotomy for the treatment of primary congenital glaucoma, excluding the minimally invasive implantation of glaucoma drainage devices.’
RANZCO will keep Fellows updated on the issue of MIGS on the MBS when further information is available.
Read more about MIGS and glaucoma management in our lead story and ophthalmology column this issue.