In a positive step forward for mothers with Diastasis Recti after pregnancy, the Medicare Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) has supported the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and publicly recommended that Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tucks) for Rectus Diastasis repair be returned to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS).
Abdominoplasty to restore a mother’s torn abdominal muscles by sewing them back together used to be on the MBS, but it was removed in 2016 over concerns that rebates were being misused.
Below we explain more about this welcome news and share details of the process to have the procedure reinstated as a claimable item number.
What is Diastasis Recti?
Diastasis Recti, also known as Rectus Diastasis, is a condition when the rectus abdominis, or 6-pack muscles in the abdomen, are separated.
This common condition can occur in women as a result of pregnancy.
Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) and Diastasis Recti Repair
While an Abdominoplasty, or Tummy Tuck procedure, removes skin and fat, it can also involve repairing and strengthening the abdominal wall.
Previously, this surgery used to be subsided by Medicare for new mothers who needed it after child birth, but that ceased in 2016.
Abdominoplasty for Diastasis Recti Repair and Welcome Medicare News
The ASPS has been pushing for a new Medicare item number for abdominoplasty to help cover the cost of the repair surgery for new mums for a couple of years.
Now the Medicare Services Advisory Committee (the authoritative body that advises the Minister for Health and the Commonwealth Department of Health on what procedures should be partially subsidised) has publicly recommended the creation of a new item number for the procedure.
“After submitting an initially unsuccessful application in 2018 to MSAC, ASPS have just received the welcome news that our re-application/second application has been supported,” the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons website says.
“The fact that MSAC has made a ruling to support an MBS item for the repair of rectus diastasis (tummy muscle split) for some women after pregnancy is a major win for those women, but it is not the final step in the process.
“The Minister can still decide to refuse to accept the advice of MSAC (although this is very rare) and final approval always depends on whether the item is passed in the Federal Budget.
“In addition, the Department of Health and Medicare, reserve the right to make minor adjustments to the eligibility criteria or fees associated with the procedure further down the track.
“As an indication of what to expect from here, ASPS have previously submitted a successful MSAC application which was supported by MSAC but took over 12 months to become available to patients.”
Diastasis Recti Surgery and Medicare
Do you have any questions? Or would you like to make an appointment for a consultation with Dr Yang?
Please contact us today on (07) 3257 7950.
Dr Samuel Yang is an experienced plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgeon based in Brisbane.
A fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and a member of both the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Australian Medical Association, Dr Yang has been practising in both the private and public systems since 2013.
Dr Yang aims to help his patients pick the best surgical option based on the desired result, and ensures they are comfortable and informed before making any commitment.