CT costs rise, MRI approval still in doubt

A draft MBS review of imaging for back pain, which is accepting public submissions, shows a continued increase in the number of CT, radiographic and MRI scans of the spine since 2008—09.

In 2008—09 there were 274,946 orders for item number 56223, a CT scan of the lumbosacral region — the most commonly ordered CT scan — at a total cost of more than $56 million. By 2012—13 the number had risen to 297,930 at a cost of more than $67 million.

The total cost of radiographic examination of the spine was $70.1 million in the 2012