1711 – Review of MBS items for subacromial decompression

Page last updated: 19 July 2022

Application Detail

Description of Medical Service

Subacromial decompression is a surgical procedure used in the treatment and management of shoulder pain due to subacromial impingement. It can be used as a standalone therapy or in conjunction with rotator cuff repair surgery. Subacromial decompression is the widening of the space where the tendons pass by removal of the swollen or inflamed bursa (bursectomy) or bone (acromioplasty). Subacromial decompression is performed through an open or arthroscopic approach.

Description of Medical Condition

The rotator cuff of the shoulder comprises four muscles, and their respective tendons, that raise or rotate the upper arm. Rotator cuff diseases encompass a wide array of conditions, including rotator cuff tendinopathy or tendinitis, subacromial impingement syndrome, partial or complete rotator cuff tears, calcific tendinitis, and subacromial bursitis. Symptoms can include pain at the upper outer arm when lifting the arm, difficulty moving the arm, reduced strength in the arm, and sleep disturbance due to pain. Shoulder pain can impair capacity to work, causing time off, and affect performance of household tasks.

Reason for Application

An evidence review of MBS items for subacromial decompression will be conducted and considered by the Medical Service Advisory Committee to ensure government funding of subacromial decompression in Australia is based on strong evidence of clinical and cost effectiveness. The currently subsidised MBS items for subacromial decompression (by acromioplasty) are MBS item 48903 and MBS item 48909.

Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference for the review are to:

  1. Review clinical guidelines on the management of rotator cuff disease, taking account of the clinical characteristics of the population/s recommended for subacromial decompression (with/without rotator cuff repair).
  2. Review the utilisation of subacromial decompression services, informed by MBS data and other data that may provide additional insight into clinical use.
  3. Review evidence on comparative safety and clinical effectiveness of subacromial decompression (with/without rotator cuff repair) used in the management of rotator cuff disease. The evidence review will be based on the Population, Intervention, Comparator and Outcomes (PICO) confirmation ratified by the PICO Advisory Subcommittee.
  4. Subject to the findings of Terms of Reference 1, 2 and 3, review and evaluate the cost effectiveness of subacromial decompression (with/without rotator cuff repair).
The Terms of Reference were endorsed by MSAC. The review will also consider the MBS review recommendations regarding acromioplasty and the summary of the issues raised by the Implementation Liaison Group for subacromial decompression.

Public and Targeted Consultation on the Review

MSAC values input from individuals and organisations. There will be two opportunities for interested stakeholders to contribute to the Review of MBS items for subacromial decompression and outline key points they wish MSAC to consider. Consultation input can be provided to the Department via commentsMSAC@health.gov.au. Please include the MSAC application number [1711] in the subject heading of your email.

Consultation submissions will be provided to the independent health technology assessment group to inform the review and to MSAC and its sub-committees — the PICO Advisory Sub Committee (PASC) and the Evaluation Sub Committee (ESC). Consultation input may be cited in the PICO confirmation, Assessment Report and MSAC Public Summary Document which will be published on the MSAC website, including attribution to the organisations providing input. Further information is available at MSAC Consultation FAQ.

Consultation Period 1
The first consultation period is comprised of the following two components.

Stakeholders are invited to provide submissions to MSAC on any aspects of terms of reference 1-4 to inform the evidence review. Submissions for the terms of reference need to be received no later than 11 March 2022.

The draft PICO confirmation, together with the review of clinical guidelines on the management of rotator cuff disease (terms of reference 1), will be provided to key stakeholders and published on 11 March 2022 for consultation ahead of the 13-14 April 2022 PASC meeting. Consultation comments on the draft PICO confirmation and/or clinical guidelines review need to be received no later than 31 March 2022. PASC will consider the draft PICO confirmation, clinical guidelines review and stakeholder input. Once the PICO Confirmation has been ratified by the PASC it will be published on the MSAC website.

Questions for consultation are included in the Draft PICO confirmation (p.23) and clinical guidelines review (pp.13-14). Please also note, consultation input is not limited to these questions and can be received upon any aspect of the Draft PICO confirmation and clinical guidelines review.

Consultation Period 2
The evidence review (Assessment Report) will be provided to key stakeholders and published on the MSAC website for comment ahead of the October 2022 Evaluation Sub-committee (ESC) meeting. MSAC will consider the review, stakeholder input and the advice of the ESC at the November 2022 meeting. To receive an alert when the Assessment Report is published please subscribe to the MSAC Bulletin.

Draft PICO Confirmation

Draft PICO Confirmation (PDF 926 KB)
Draft PICO Confirmation (Word 1293 KB)

Clinical Guidelines review

Clinical Guidelines Review (PDF 879 KB)
Clinical Guidelines Review (Word 373 KB)

Final PICO Confirmation (PDF 1026 KB)
Final PICO Confirmation (Word 1221 KB)

Assessment Report

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Public Summary Document

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Meetings for this Application

PASC

13-14 April 2022

ESC

6-7 October 2022

MSAC

24-25 November 2022