Medicare Benefits Schedule - Item 32501

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32501 - Additional Information

Item Start Date:
Description Start Date:
Schedule Fee Start Date:

T8 - Surgical Operations
3 - Vascular
1 - Varicose Veins

VARICOSE VEINS where varicosity measures 2.5mm or greater in diameter, multiple injections of sclerosant using continuous compression techniques, including associated consultation - 1 or both legs - not being a service associated with any other varicose vein operation on the same leg, (excluding after-care) where it can be demonstrated that truncal reflux in the long or short saphenous veins has been excluded by duplex examination - and that a 7th or subsequent treatment (including any treatments to which item 32500 applies) is indicated in a 12 month period

Multiple Operation Rule

Fee: $109.80 Benefit: 75% = $82.35 85% = $93.35

(See para TN.8.32 of explanatory notes to this Category)

Extended Medicare Safety Net Cap: $87.85

Associated Notes



Varicose veins - (Items 32500 to 32517)

Claims for benefits under item 32501should be accompanied by full clinical details, including pre-operative colour photographs, to verify the need for additional services. 

Where digital photographs are supplied, the practitioner must sign each photograph to certify that the digital photograph has not been altered. The claim and the additional information should be lodged with the Department of Human Services for referral to the National Office of the Department of Human Services for assessment by the Medicare Claims Review Panel (MCRP) and must be accompanied by sufficient clinical and/or photographic evidence to enable the Department of Human Services to determine the eligibility of the service for the payment of benefits. 

Practitioners may also apply to the Department of Human Services for prospective approval for proposed surgery. 

Applications for approval should be addressed in a sealed envelope marked 'Medical-in Confidence' to: 

The MCRP Officer

PO Box 9822


In relation to endovenous laser therapy (ELT) and/or radiofrequency diathermy/ablation, Rule 2.44.14 of the Health Insurance (General Medical Services Table) Regulations (GMST) means the following: 

  • ELT and/or radiofrequency diathermy/ablation are not payable if they are billed under any varicose vein items (32500 to 32517) or vascular item 35321.
  • If ELT and/or radiofrequency diathermy/ablation are provided on the same occasion as these MBS items, the ELT and radiofrequency diathermy/ablation services must be itemised separately on the invoice, showing the full fees for each service separately to the fees billed against the MBS items.
  • We strongly recommend that a practitioner who intends to bill ELT and/or radiofrequency diathermy/ablation on the same occasion as providing MBS services contact Department of Human Services' provider information line on 132 150 to confirm the Department of Human Services' requirements for correct itemisation of MBS and non-MBS services on a single invoice.
  • The Department of Human Services monitors billing practices associated with MBS items and any billing which stands out as being out of line with most practitioners may warrant the attention of the Department of Human Services.
  • In light of the policy clarification of GMST Rule 2.44.14, with effect from 1 May 2009,  the Department of Human Services will be able to track any apparent cost-shifting (of ELT and/or radiofrequency diathermy/ablation) to the MBS items detailed in GMST Rule 2.44.14 or to other MBS items.


Related Items: 32500 32501 32504 32507 32508 32511 32514 32517


  • 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