Medicare Benefits Schedule - Item 18222

Search Results for Item 18222

View Associated Notes

Category 3 - THERAPEUTIC PROCEDURES

18222

18222 - Additional Information

Item Start Date:
01-Nov-1993
Description Updated:
01-Mar-2022
Schedule Fee Updated:
01-Jul-2022

Group
T7 - Regional Or Field Nerve Blocks

Continuous infusion or injection by catheter of a therapeutic substance (not contrast agent) to maintain regional anaesthesia or analgesia, subsequent injection or revision of, if the period of continuous medical practitioner attendance is 15 minutes or less

Fee: $39.80 Benefit: 75% = $29.85 85% = $33.85

(See para TN.7.2, TN.10.7 of explanatory notes to this Category)


Associated Notes

Category 3 - THERAPEUTIC PROCEDURES

TN.7.2

Maintenance of Regional or Field Nerve Block - (Items 18222 and 18225)

Medicare benefit is attracted under these items only when the service is performed other than by the operating surgeon.  This does not preclude benefits for an obstetrician performing an epidural block during labour. 

When the service is performed by the operating surgeon during the post-operative period of an operation it is considered to be part of the normal aftercare.  In these circumstances a Medicare benefit is not attracted.

 

Related Items: 18222 18225

Category 3 - THERAPEUTIC PROCEDURES

TN.10.7

General Information

The Health Insurance Act 1973 provides that where anaesthesia is administered to a patient, the premedication of the patient in preparation for anaesthesia is deemed to form part of the administration of  anaesthesia.  The administration of anaesthesia also includes the pre‑anaesthesia consultation with the patient in preparation for that administration, except where such consultation entails a separate attendance carried out at a place other than an operating theatre or an anaesthesia induction room. The pre-anaesthesia consultation for a patient should be performed in association with a clinically relevant service. 

Except in special circumstances, benefit is not payable for the administration of anaesthesia listed in Subgroups 1-18, unless the anaesthesia is administered by a medical practitioner other than the medical practitioner who renders the medical service in connection with which anaesthesia is administered. 

Fees and benefits for anaesthesia services under the RVG cover all essential components in the administration of the anaesthesia service. Separate benefit may be attracted, however, for complementary services such as central venous pressure and direct arterial pressure monitoring (see note TN.10.8).

It should be noted that additional benefit is not payable for intravenous infusion or electrocardiographic monitoring, provision for which has been made in the value determined for the anaesthetic units. 

The Medicare benefit derived under the RVG for the administration of anaesthesia is the benefit payable for that service irrespective of whether one or more than one medical practitioner administers it. However, benefit is provided under Subgroup 26 for the services of one assistant anaesthetist (who must not be either the surgeon or assistant surgeon (see Note TN.10.9)). 

Where a regional nerve block or field nerve block is administered by a medical practitioner other than the practitioner carrying out the operation, the block is assessed as an anaesthesia item according to the advice in paragraph TN.7.1.  When a block is carried out in cases not associated with an operation, such as for pain or during labour, the service falls under Group T7. 

If not stipulated in the item descriptor, when a regional nerve block or field nerve block covered by an item in Group T7 of the Schedule is administered by a medical practitioner in the course of a surgical procedure undertaken by the same medical practitioner, then such a block will attract benefit under the appropriate item in Group T7.

If stipulated in the item descriptor, when a regional nerve block or field nerve block covered by an item in Group T7 of the Schedule is administered by a medical practitioner in the course of a surgical procedure the block will not attract benefit under the relevant item in Group T7 unless the block has been performed using a targeted percutaneous approach. If the block has been performed using a targeted percutaneous approach this must be noted on the Medicare claim.

It should be noted that where a procedure is carried out with local infiltration or digital block as the means of anaesthesia, that anaesthesia is considered to be part of the procedure and an additional benefit is therefore not payable. 

It may happen that the professional service for which the anaesthesia is administered does not itself attract a benefit because it is part of the after‑care of an operation.  This does not, however, affect the benefit payable for the anaesthesia service. Benefit is payable for anaesthesia administered in connection with such a professional service (or combination of services) even though no benefit is payable for the associated professional service. 

The administration of epidural anaesthesia during labour is covered by items 18216 or 18219 (18226 and 18227 for after hours) in Group T7 of the Schedule whether administered by the medical practitioner undertaking the confinement or by another medical practitioner.  Subsequent "top-ups" are covered by Item 18222 or 18225.

For the purposes of items 18216 and 18226, one attendance means that the medical practitioner cannot claim either of these items if the additional attendance is to optimise the initial treatment. Optimise means extension or improvement in analgesic quality of an existing block, without the insertion of a new block as a separate procedure.

Related Items: 18216 18219 18222 18225 18226 18227


Legend

  • Assist - Addition/Deletion of (Assist.)
  • Amend - Amended Description
  • Anaes - Anaesthetic Values Amended
  • Emsn - EMSN Change
  • Fee - Fee Amended
  • Renum - Item Number Change (renumbered)
  • New - New Item
  • NewMin - New Item (previous Ministerial Determination)
  • Qfe - QFE Change