New Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Items for contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the liver

Page last updated: 13 February 2019

Factsheet - Liver MRI (PDF 238 KB)
Factsheet - Liver MRI (DOC 485 KB)


What are the new services?
From 1 May 2019, Medicare rebates will be available for three new items covering contrast-enhanced MRI liver scans with specific clinical criteria for:

    patients with colorectal carcinoma with known, suspected or possible liver metastases for the purpose of characterisation or intervention planning (item 63545);
    patients with known or suspected hepatocellular carcinoma for the purposes of diagnosis or staging (item 63546); and
    the use of a hepatobiliary specific contrast agent (item 63496) with the liver MRI scans.
The MBS fee for items 63545 and 63546 will be $550. These MRI items are to be performed with either the new contrast agent item 63496 which permits the use of a hepatobiliary specific contrast agent (MBS fee will be $250); or in cases where the use of a standard extracellular contrast agent is clinically indicated, the existing MRI modifying item 63491 (MBS fee $44.80) can be used.

Who can request these items?
Specialists and consultant physicians are eligible to request these items. General practitioners are not eligible to request these items.

What are the patient eligibility requirements?
These items are for patients with specified indications and these indications must be listed on the request form.
MBS item 63545 is for:
A patient with known colorectal carcinoma with known, suspected or possible liver metastasis, for the purpose of characterisation or intervention planning, where:

    the patient has had a mass lesion detected in the liver on previous CT scanning or ultrasound.
MBS items 63546 is for:
A patient with known or suspected hepatocellular carcinoma for the purposes of diagnosis or staging where:
    the patient has pre-existing chronic liver disease, confirmed by a specialist; and
    has an identified hepatic lesion over 10mm in diameter; and
    has been assessed as having a Child-Pugh class A or B liver function.

Are there any restrictions on the number of services?
Medicare benefits for MBS items 63545 and 63546 are payable on only one occasion for a patient in any twelve month period.

Where can the procedure take place to be eligible for a Medicare rebate?
Medicare benefits are only payable for liver MRI scans performed under the professional supervision of an eligible provider at an eligible location and when the service is performed on an eligible MRI unit with either full or partial Medicare eligibility. A complete list of full and partial Medicare-eligible units by state and territory is available at MRI unit locations.

Find out more
See the Medical Services Advisory Committee’s website for more information about the committee’s recommendation to list the service via www.msac.gov.au.