Rebate for diagnostic HbA1c under review

MBS rebates for the use of HbA1c to diagnose diabetes are back on the table, as Medicare prepares for a surprise early meeting on the issue this week.

The Medical Services Advisory Committee, the gatekeeper to the MBS, will meet on 3-4 April to consider whether to introduce a new item number for using HbA1c as a diagnostic test.

HbA1c is currently only subsidised for ongoing diabetes management.

However, Australia has fallen behind international best practice in not using it for diagnosis: the WHO and American Diabetes Association both endorsed diagnostic HbA1c in 2011, and it is widely