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News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Boston Scientific secures new MBS listings in urology, cardiology and gastroenterology

Health Industry Hub | March 4, 2024 |

MedTech & Diagnostics News: Boston Scientific has secured multiple listings on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) in urology, gastroenterology and cardiology, effective from March 1st. This development promises to enhance management of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), coronary heart disease and biliary stones.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a prevalent condition characterised by the enlargement of the prostate, is a concern for many. This enlargement often leads to the narrowing of the urethra, placing undue pressure on the base of the bladder.

MBS items apply to two procedures including prosthetic urethral lift (PUL) and transurethral water vapour ablation (TUWA). Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) recommended the listings in July 2022 and it was approved by the government for funding in the 2023-24 Budget. Notably, TUWA has also been added to the Prescribed List (PL) for privately insured patients.

“Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is considered the gold standard treatment for BPH, and it is the treatment used most often because it is very effective and safe. However, patients may prefer alternative procedures that are not as invasive as TURP.

“MSAC noted limitations in the clinical evidence but considered that TUWA was likely to have inferior effectiveness and non-inferior safety compared with TURP although for some safety outcomes TUWA may be superior,” MSAC commented in its recommendation.

Shifting gears, coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common form of cardiovascular disease and patients are set to benefit from the integration of intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) technology.

This addition to the MBS, recommended by MSAC in March 2022 and approved for funding in the 2023-24 Budget, enhances physicians’ ability to understand atherosclerotic vessels. IVUS technology supports appropriate treatment strategy, stent selection, stent placement and adequate deployment to restore blood flow at the target site.

March 1st also marked the introduction of new MBS items for surgeons and gastroenterologists. Utilising peroral cholangiopancreatoscopy (POCPS), clinicians can now diagnose indeterminate biliary strictures (MBS item 30664) and remove difficult biliary stones (MBS item 30665).

The recommendation from MSAC acknowledged the “limitations in the clinical evidence, but considered POCPS was more effective and as safe as endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) for diagnosing the cause of biliary strictures and removing difficult stones, and as effective as surgery for removing difficult stones.” MSAC also considered that “POCPS was good value for money, and would result in only a small increase in cost to the MBS.”

Michael Simmonds, Director ANZ, Health Economics & Government Affairs at Boston Scientific, said “Boston Scientific is proud to have led these projects while collaborating with clinicians and patients to improve patient access to these novel technologies. This positive impact on patient lives is a result of good planning, strong engagement with relevant stakeholders and the winning spirit of our talented health economics and commercial teams.”

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