News in brief: MBS items changes for skin procedures; Acne’s psychosocial burden; Melanoma meeting forum for patients

26 Oct 2021

MBS items changes for skin procedures

Amendments to MBS items from 1 November will see reimbursement changes for treatments for melanoma, varicose veins and keloid scars.

A new MBS item 30311 is being introduced for a sentinel lymph node biopsy or biopsies for intermediate thickness melanoma. Patients with malignant cutaneous melanoma primary legion greater than 1mm in depth (or at least 0.8mm depth in the presence of ulceration) will be able to receive a service under the new item.

Varicose vein items 32500 and 32507 to 32529 are being amended to align the items with contemporary clinical practice, ensure appropriate patient access and prevent their use for cosmetic purposes, according to Medicare.

MBS item 30210 for multiple injections of glucocorticoid preparations into keloid scars and other skin restrictions will be amended to remove the age restriction for the service and allow access to patients of any age who have a clinical need for the service.

Acne’s psychosocial burden

The psychosocial burden of acne vulgaris has been highlighted by a UK survey of 2166 people with the condition that revealed high rates of shame, bullying and suicidal thinking.

A questionnaire on the British Skin Foundation (BSF) website drew responses that hosed 60% of people with acne reported a loss in self-confidence and 57% said they had been verbally abused by someone they knew as a result of their acne. More than 30% of respondents felt they had been wrongfully dismissed by a medical professional as a result of their acne and 22% (n = 483) said they had contemplated suicide. Of these, a third were aged under 18 years of age and a higher proportion were males.

The survey conducted by members of the British Association of Dermatologists also found that 23% of respondents had tried more than 10 acne treatments or management options, but only 10% had tried isotretinoin.

The findings are published in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Melanoma meeting forum for patients

People with melanoma and their carers are being invited to attend a ‘Melanoma Patient and Carer Forum‘ being held online as part of the Australasian Melanoma Conference (AMC) on on Saturday 20th November.

The session is run in partnership with Melanoma Patients Australia (MPA) and will part of the virtual medical meeting hosted by the Melanoma Institute Australia .

Chaired by MIA CEO Matthew Browne and MPA CEO Victoria Beedle, the forum will include Professor Mark Smithers discussing early detection and surgical intervention on melanoma; Professor Georgina Long giving an update on treatments for advanced melanoma; Dr Iris Bartula talking about dealing with anxiety and fear of recurrence of melanoma, and nurse Brooke Kelly discussing the importance of supportive care for people with melanoma

Anne Gately will  give a personal patient experience in relation to melanoma.

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