Medicare Benefits Schedule - Item 39013

Search Results for Item 39013

View Associated Notes



39013 - Additional Information

Item Start Date:
Description Updated:
Schedule Fee Updated:

T8 - Surgical Operations
7 - Neurosurgical
1 - General

Injection of one or more zygo-apophyseal or costo-transverse joints with one or more of contrast media, local anaesthetic or corticosteroid under image guidance

Multiple Operation Rule


Fee: $120.10 Benefit: 75% = $90.10 85% = $102.10

(See para TN.7.5, TN.7.6, TN.8.4, TN.8.240 of explanatory notes to this Category)

Associated Notes



Regional or Field Nerve Blocks - (Items 18234 to 18298)

Items in the range 18234 - 18298 are intended to cover the injection of anaesthetic into the nerve or nerve sheath and not for the treatment of carpal tunnel or similar compression syndromes. 

Paravertebral nerve block item 18276 covers the provision of regional anaesthesia for surgical and related procedures for the management acute pain or of chronic pain related to radiculopathy. Blockade of lumbar paravertebral nerves should be claimed under 18276. Infiltration of the soft tissue of the paravertebral area for the treatment of other pain symptoms does not attract benefit under this item. Additionally, item 18276 does not cover zygo‑apophyseal joint blocks/injections. This procedure is covered under item 39013. 

Item 18292 may not be claimed for the injection of botulinum toxin, but may be claimed where a neurolytic agent (such as phenol) is used to treat the obturator nerve in patients receiving botulinum toxin injections under item 18354 for a dynamic foot deformity.


Related Items: 18234 18236 18238 18240 18242 18244 18248 18250 18252 18254 18256 18258 18260 18262 18264 18266 18268 18270 18272 18276 18278 18280 18282 18284 18286 18288 18292 18354 39013



Services performed under image guidance (Items 18290, 18292, 18294, 18296, 39013, 39014, 39100)

These services must be performed under image guidance.

Imaging items can be co-claimed with these items when indicated.

Related Items: 18290 18292 18294 18296 39013 39014 39100



Aftercare (Post-operative Treatment)


Section 3(5) of the Health Insurance Act 1973 states that services included in the Schedule (other than attendances) include all professional attendances necessary for the purposes of post-operative treatment of the patient.  For the purposes of this book, post-operative treatment is generally referred to as "aftercare".

Aftercare is deemed to include all post-operative treatment rendered by medical specialists and consultant physicians, and includes all attendances until recovery from the operation, the final check or examination, regardless of whether the attendances are at the hospital, private rooms, or the patient's home.  Aftercare need not necessarily be limited to treatment given by the surgeon or to treatment given by any one medical practitioner.

If the initial procedure is performed by a general practitioner, normal aftercare rules apply to any post-operative service provided by the same practitioner.

The medical practitioner determines each individual aftercare period depending on the needs of the patient as the amount and duration of aftercare following an operation may vary between patients for the same operation, as well as between different operations.

Private Patients

Medicare will not normally pay for any consultations during an aftercare period as the Schedule fee for most operations, procedures, fractures and dislocations listed in the MBS item includes a component of aftercare.

There are some instances where the aftercare component has been excluded from the MBS item and this is clearly indicated in the item description.

There are also some minor operations that are merely stages in the treatment of a particular condition.  As such, attendances subsequent to these services should not be regarded as aftercare but rather as a continuation of the treatment of the original condition and attract benefits.  Likewise, there are a number of services which may be performed during the aftercare period for pain relief which would also attract benefits.  This includes all items in Groups T6 and T7, and items 39013, 39100, 39110, 39014, 39111, 39116, 39117, 39118, 39119, 39121, 39127, 39130, 39133, 39136, 39324 and 39327.

Where there may be doubt as to whether an item actually does include the aftercare, the item description includes the words "including aftercare".

If a service is provided during the aftercare phase for a condition not related to the operation, then this can be claimed, provided the account identifies the service as 'Not normal aftercare', with a brief explanation of the reason for the additional services.

If a patient was admitted as a private patient in a public hospital, then unless the MBS item does not include aftercare, no Medicare benefits are payable for aftercare.

Medicare benefits are not payable for surgical procedures performed primarily for cosmetic reasons.  However, benefits are payable for certain procedures when performed for specific medical reasons, such as breast reconstruction following mastectomy.  Surgical procedures not listed on the MBS do not attract a Medicare benefit.

Where an initial or subsequent consultation relates to the assessment and discussion of options for treatment and, a cosmetic or other non-rebatable service are discussed, this would be considered a rebatable service under Medicare.  Where a consultation relates entirely to a cosmetic or other non-Medicare rebatable service (either before or after that service has taken place), then that consultation is not rebatable under Medicare.  Any aftercare associated with a cosmetic or non-Medicare rebatable service is also not rebatable under Medicare.

Public Patients

All care directly related to a public in-patient's care should be provided free of charge.  Where a patient has received in-patient treatment in a hospital as a public patient (as defined in Section 3(1) of the Health Insurance Act 1973), routine and non-routine aftercare directly related to that episode of admitted care will be provided free of charge as part of the public hospital service, regardless of where it is provided, on behalf of the state or territory as required by the National Healthcare Agreement.  In this case no Medicare benefit is payable.

Notwithstanding this, where a public patient independently chooses to consult a private medical practitioner for aftercare, then the clinically relevant service provided during this professional attendance will attract Medicare benefits.

Where a public patient independently chooses to consult a private medical practitioner for aftercare following treatment from a public hospital emergency department, then the clinically relevant service provided during this professional attendance will attract Medicare benefits.


Where the aftercare for fractures is delegated to a doctor at a place other than where the initial reduction was carried out, then Medicare benefits may be apportioned on a 50:50 basis rather than on the 75:25 basis for surgical operations.

Where the reduction of a fracture is carried out by hospital staff in the out-patient or emergency department of a public hospital, and the patient is then referred to a private practitioner for aftercare, Medicare benefits are payable for the aftercare on an attendance basis.

The following table shows the period which has been adopted as reasonable for the after‑care of fractures:‑

Treatment of fracture of After-care Period
Terminal phalanx of finger or thumb 6 weeks
Proximal phalanx of finger or thumb 6 weeks
Middle phalanx of finger 6 weeks
One or more metacarpals not involving base of first carpometacarpal joint 6 weeks
First metacarpal involving carpometacarpal joint (Bennett's fracture) 8 weeks
Carpus (excluding navicular) 6 weeks
Navicular or carpal scaphoid 3 months
Colles'/Smith/Barton's fracture of wrist 3 months
Distal end of radius or ulna, involving wrist 8 weeks
Radius 8 weeks
Ulna 8 weeks
Both shafts of forearm or humerus 3 months
Clavicle or sternum 4 weeks
Scapula 6 weeks
Pelvis (excluding symphysis pubis) or sacrum 4 months
Symphysis pubis 4 months
Femur 6 months
Fibula or tarsus (excepting os calcis or os talus) 8 weeks
Tibia or patella 4 months
Both shafts of leg, ankle (Potts fracture) with or without dislocation, os calcis (calcaneus) or os talus 4 months
Metatarsals - one or more 6 weeks
Phalanx of toe (other than great toe) 6 weeks
More than one phalanx of toe (other than great toe) 6 weeks
Distal phalanx of great toe 8 weeks
Proximal phalanx of great toe 8 weeks
Nasal bones, requiring reduction 4 weeks
Nasal bones, requiring reduction and involving osteotomies 4 weeks
Maxilla or mandible, unilateral or bilateral, not requiring splinting 6 weeks
Maxilla or mandible, requiring splinting or wiring of teeth 3 months
Maxilla or mandible, circumosseous fixation of 3 months
Maxilla or mandible, external skeletal fixation of 3 months
Zygoma 6 weeks
Spine (excluding sacrum), transverse process or bone other than vertebral body
requiring immobilisation in plaster or traction by skull calipers
3 months
Spine (excluding sacrum), vertebral body, without involvement of cord, requiring
immobilisation in plaster or traction by skull calipers
6 months
Spine (excluding sacrum), vertebral body, with involvement of cord 6 months

Note: This list is a guide only and each case should be judged on individual merits.

Related Items: 30219 30223 32500 34521 34524 39013 39014 39015 39100 39110 39111 39116 39117 39118 39119 39121 39127 39130 39133 39136 39324 39327 41626 41656 42614 42644 42650



Intra-articular injection (Item 39013)

This service must be performed under image guidance. Imaging items can be co-claimed with item 39013 when indicated.

Where intra-articular zygapophyseal joint injection provides a short term effect that is repeatedly observed, consideration should be given to longer lasting pain management techniques.

Related Items: 39013


  • 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