Medicare Benefits Schedule - Item 31374

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31374 - Additional Information

Item Start Date:
Description Updated:
Schedule Fee Updated:

T8 - Surgical Operations
1 - General

Malignant melanoma, appendageal carcinoma, malignant connective tissue tumour of skin or merkel cell carcinoma of skin, definitive surgical excision (other than by shave excision) and repair of, if:

(a)     the tumour is excised from any part of the body not covered by item 31371, 31372 or 31373; and

(b)     the necessary excision diameter is less than 15 mm; and

(c)     the excised specimen is sent for histological examination; and

(d)     malignancy is confirmed from the excised specimen or previous biopsy;

not in association with item 45201

Multiple Operation Rule


Fee: $298.00 Benefit: 75% = $223.50 85% = $253.30

(See para TN.8.125 of explanatory notes to this Category)

Associated Notes



Removal of Skin Lesions - Necessary Excision Diameter - (Items 31356 to 31376)

The necessary excision diameter (or defect size) refers to the lesion size plus a clinically appropriate margin of healthy tissue required with the intent of complete surgical excision. Measurements should be taken prior to excision. Margin size should be determined in line with NHMRC guidelines:  

Clinical practice guide - Basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma(and related lesions)-a guide to clinical management in Australia. November 2008. Cancer Council Australia andClinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Melanoma in Australia and New Zealand (2008).

For the purpose of Items 31356 to 31376 the defect size is calculated by the average of the width and the length of the skin lesion and an appropriate margin. The necessary excision diameter is calculated as shown in the Factsheet at this link:  Determining lesion size for MBS item selection.

Practitioners must retain copies of histological reports and any other supporting evidence (patient notes, photographs etc). Photographs should include scale.

An episode of care includes both the excision and closure for the same defect, even when excision and closure occur at separate attendances.

Definitive surgical excision for items 31371 to 31376 means surgical removal with adequate margins as part of the curative management of the malignancies specified in these items.

An incomplete surgical excision of a malignant skin lesion with curative intent should be billed as a malignant skin lesion excision item even when further surgery is needed. Wide excision of the primary tumour bed following local excision of a primary melanoma, appendageal carcinoma, malignant connective tissue or merkel cell carcinoma of the skin may be claimed using item 31371, 31372, 31373, 31374, 31375 or 31376, depending on the location of the malignancy and the size of the excision diameter.

For Items 31356 to 31370, a malignant skin lesion is defined as a basal cell carcinoma; a squamous cell carcinoma (including keratoacanthoma); a cutaneous deposit of lymphoma; or a cutaneous metastasis from an internal malignancy.


Related Items: 31356 31357 31358 31359 31360 31361 31362 31363 31364 31365 31366 31367 31368 31369 31370 31371 31372 31373 31374 31375 31376


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