The Morrison Government is investing $40.5 million for a new Medicare Benefits Schedule item to improve the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure).
Far North Queenslanders will be able to claim rebates from November 1, 2021 for ambulatory blood pressure measurement which monitors a patient’s blood pressure continuously over 24 hours through a wearable device to diagnose if they are hypertensive or not.
Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is the best available test to confirm the diagnosis of hypertension and more effective than in-clinic blood pressure monitoring.
It will save lives and improve lives.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said around 1 in 3 Australians aged 18 and over have high blood pressure, and that men were more likely to have uncontrolled high blood pressure than women.
“High blood pressure can lead to other chronic conditions, including stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure and chronic kidney disease,” Mr Entsch said.
“I welcome this announcement, which means Australians, including those living in Cairns and Far North Queensland, can access this treatment through Medicare.
“The Morrison Government’s commitment to Medicare is rock solid and we will continue to ensure that Australians in Cairns and Far North Queensland have access to access to new medicines and treatments.
Federal Health and Aged Care Minister Greg Hunt said, the Morrison Government was committed to ensuring Australians can access the latest in health care diagnosis and treatment.
“This is a significant development in hypertension awareness and care in Australia and we anticipate that this listing will benefit more than 400,000 Australians in the first 12 months,” Mr Hunt said.
“Australia has a world-class health system, and our government will continue to ensure it remains that way.”
The new MBS item includes consultation, fitting of the device, analysis of the data, generation of a report and development of a treatment plan.
The government agreed to add Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring to the MBS following recommendations from the independent Medical Services Advisory Committee.