Medicare Item Numbers for Skin & Hand Surgery

Will Medicare cover your Skin Cancer, Hand Surgery, Scar Revision or Minor Skin Excisions?

If you have a valid medical referral and meet the strict criteria for one of the many Medicare item numbers, then you may get a Medicare rebate and could also be eligible for a subsidy from your Private Health Insurance fund.

Medicare will NOT cover purely cosmetic surgery but some skin and hand surgery is regarded as medically necessary and you can qualify for a rebate if you have a valid medical reason.

Some valid medical reasons include procedures like skin cancer surgery, scar revision surgery or removal of lymph nodes.

What is a valid medical reason for surgery?

A valid medical reason for surgery can include things like:

  • Facial reconstructive surgery after an accident or trauma
  • Nose Surgery to rectify an obstructed nasal passage or breathing issue
  • Breast reconstruction following a mastectomy or removal/replacement of an implant
  • Breast Surgery for overly large or sagging breasts
  • Post Weight Loss Surgery following massive weight loss (removal of excess loose skin, abdominoplasty and such)

For other surgical procedures, the best way to find out if you will be covered by Medicare is to consult a qualified medical professional or specialist surgeon.

Medicare - Dr Kernohan - Sydney

Is my procedure covered by Medicare?

The Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) is searchable online and is a great resource if you’re doing some preliminary research about your chosen procedure. You can find out the criteria and the medicare rebate.

Visit the MBS Medicare Item Number Website

Consulting a medical specialist

Consulting Dr Michale Kernohan Sydney

If you are seeking plastic surgery for a valid medical reason, the first step is to obtain a referral letter from your GP to go and see a specialist.  In order to be covered by Medicare, you need to ensure that the specialist you’re referred to is an accredited surgeon.

Beware! – Plastic Surgeons and Cosmetic Surgeons are completely different doctors. Even though they sound similar they are completely differently trained and qualified – and this makes a big difference when it comes to Medicare.

There are thousands of medicare item numbers – here are the most popular for Dr Kernohan

Surgeon Consultation & Review

104 FIRST CONSULT        Professional attendance at consulting rooms or hospital by a specialist in the practice of the specialist’s specialty after referral of the patient to the specialist-each attendance, other than a second or subsequent attendance, in a single course of treatment, other than a service to which item 106, 109 or 16401 applies

105 REVIEW CONSULT   Professional attendance by a specialist in the practice of the specialist’s specialty following referral of the patient to the specialist-an attendance after the first in a single course of treatment, if that attendance is at consulting rooms or hospital, other than a service to which item 16404 applies

91832 FIRST TELECONSULT         Phone attendance for a person by a specialist in the practice of the specialist’s specialty if: (a) the attendance follows referral of the patient to the specialist; and (b) the attendance was of more than 5 minutes in duration. Where the attendance was other than a second or subsequent attendance as part of a single course of treatment.

91833 REVIEW TELECONSULT     Phone attendance for a person by a specialist in the practice of the specialist’s specialty if: (a) the attendance follows referral of the patient to the specialist; and (b) the attendance was of more than 5 minutes in duration. Where the attendance is after the first attendance as part of a single course of treatment.

Hand Surgery Medicare Item Numbers

39331   CARPAL TUNNEL RELEASE (division of transverse carpal ligament), by any method (Anaes.)

Scar Revision Surgery Medicare Item Numbers

45506   SCAR, of face or neck, not more than 3 cm in length, revision of, where undertaken in the operating theatre of a hospital, or where performed by a specialist in the practice of his or her specialty (Anaes.)

45512   SCAR, of face or neck, more than 3 cm in length, revision of, where undertaken in the operating theatre of a hospital, or where performed by a specialist in the practice of his or her specialty (Anaes.)

45515   SCAR, other than on face or neck, not more than 7 cms in length, revision of, as an independent procedure, where undertaken in the operating theatre of a hospital or where performed by a specialist in the practice of his or her specialty (Anaes.)

45518   SCAR, other than on face or neck, more than 7 cms in length, revision of, as an independent procedure, where undertaken in the operating theatre of a hospital, or where performed by a specialist in the practice of his or her speciality (Anaes.)

Minor Skin Surgery Medicare Item Numbers

30023   WOUND OF SOFT TISSUE, traumatic, deep or extensively contaminated, debridement of, under general anaesthesia or regional or field nerve block, including suturing of that wound when performed (Anaes.) (Assist.)

31345   LIPOMA, removal of by surgical excision or liposuction, where lesion is subcutaneous and 50mm or more in diameter, or is sub-fascial, where the specimen is sent for histological confirmation of diagnosis (Anaes.)

46534   NAIL PLATE INJURY OR DEFORMITY, radical excision of nail germinal matrix (Anaes.)

47906   DIGITAL NAIL OF TOE, removal of, in the operating theatre of a hospital (Anaes.)

Dermoid Cyst Removal Medicare Item Numbers

42573   DERMOID, periorbital, excision of, on a person 10 years of age or over (Anaes.)

42574   DERMOID, orbital, excision of (Anaes.) (Assist.)

Lymph Nodes Removal Medicare Item Numbers

30329   LYMPH NODES of GROIN, limited excision of (Anaes.)

30332   LYMPH NODES of AXILLA, limited excision of (sampling) (Anaes.) (Assist.)

31423   LYMPH NODES of neck, selective dissection of one or 2 lymph node levels involving removal of soft tissue and lymph nodes from one side of the neck, on a patient 10 years of age or over (Anaes.) (Assist.)

Skin Biopsy Medicare Item Numbers

30071   Diagnostic biopsy of skin, as an independent procedure, if the biopsy specimen is sent for pathological examination (Anaes.)

Skin Lesions & Melanoma Medicare Item Numbers

30207   Skin lesions, multiple injections with glucocorticoid preparations (Anaes.)

31356   Malignant skin lesion (other than a malignant skin lesion covered by item 31371, 31372, 31373, 31374, 31375 or 31376), surgical excision (other than by shave excision) and repair of, if: (a) the lesion is excised from nose, eyelid, eyebrow, lip, ear, digit or genitalia, or from a contiguous area; and (b) the necessary excision diameter is less than 6 mm; and (c) the excised specimen is sent for histological examination; and (d) malignancy is confirmed from the excised specimen or previous biopsy; not in association with item 45201 (Anaes.)

31357   Non-malignant skin lesion (other than viral verrucae (common warts) and seborrheic keratoses), including a cyst, ulcer or scar (other than a scar removed during the surgical approach at an operation), surgical excision (other than by shave excision) and repair of, if: (a) the lesion is excised from nose, eyelid, eyebrow, lip, ear, digit or genitalia, or from a contiguous area; and (b) the necessary excision diameter is less than 6 mm; and (c) the excised specimen is sent for histological examination; not in association with item 45201 (Anaes.)

31358   Malignant skin lesion (other than a malignant skin lesion covered by item 31371, 31372, 31373, 31374, 31375 or 31376), surgical excision (other than by shave excision) and repair of, if: (a) the lesion is excised from nose, eyelid, eyebrow, lip, ear, digit or genitalia, or from a contiguous area; and (b) the necessary excision diameter is 6 mm or more; and (c) the excised specimen is sent for histological examination; and (d) malignancy is confirmed from the excised specimen or previous biopsy (Anaes.)

31359   Malignant skin lesion (other than a malignant skin lesion covered by item 31371, 31372, 31373, 31374, 31375 or 31376), surgical excision (other than by shave excision), if: (a) the lesion is excised from nose, eyelid, eyebrow, lip, ear, digit or genitalia (the applicable site); and (b) the necessary excision area is at least one third of the surface area of the applicable site; and (c) the excised specimen is sent for histological examination; and (d) malignancy is confirmed from the excised specimen or previous biopsy (H) (Anaes.)

31360   Non-malignant skin lesion (other than viral verrucae (common warts) and seborrheic keratoses), including a cyst, ulcer or scar (other than a scar removed during the surgical approach at an operation), surgical excision (other than by shave excision) and repair of, if: (a) the lesion is excised from nose, eyelid, eyebrow, lip, ear, digit or genitalia, or from a contiguous area; and (b) the necessary excision diameter is 6 mm or more; and (c) the excised specimen is sent for histological examination (Anaes.)

31361   Malignant skin lesion (other than a malignant skin lesion covered by item 31371, 31372, 31373, 31374, 31375 or 31376), surgical excision (other than by shave excision) and repair of, if: (a) the lesion is excised from face, neck, scalp, nipple-areola complex, distal lower limb (distal to, and including, the knee) or distal upper limb (distal to, and including, the ulnar styloid); and (b) the necessary excision diameter is less than 14 mm; and (c) the excised specimen is sent for histological examination; and (d) malignancy is confirmed from the excised specimen or previous biopsy; not in association with item 45201 (Anaes.)

31362   Non-malignant skin lesion (other than viral verrucae (common warts) and seborrheic keratoses), including a cyst, ulcer or scar (other than a scar removed during the surgical approach at an operation), surgical excision (other than by shave excision) and repair of, if: (a) the lesion is excised from face, neck, scalp, nipple-areola complex, distal lower limb (distal to, and including, the knee) or distal upper limb (distal to, and including, the ulnar styloid); and (b) the necessary excision diameter is less than 14 mm; and (c) the excised specimen is sent for histological examination; not in association with item 45201 (Anaes.)

31363   Malignant skin lesion (other than a malignant skin lesion covered by item 31371, 31372, 31373, 31374, 31375 or 31376), surgical excision (other than by shave excision) and repair of, if: (a) the lesion is excised from face, neck, scalp, nipple-areola complex, distal lower limb (distal to, and including, the knee) or distal upper limb (distal to, and including, the ulnar styloid); and (b) the necessary excision diameter is 14 mm or more; and (c) the excised specimen is sent for histological examination; and (d) malignancy is confirmed from the excised specimen or previous biopsy (Anaes.)

31364   Non-malignant skin lesion (other than viral verrucae (common warts) and seborrheic keratoses), including a cyst, ulcer or scar (other than a scar removed during the surgical approach at an operation), surgical excision (other than by shave excision) and repair of, if: (a) the lesion is excised from face, neck, scalp, nipple-areola complex, distal lower limb (distal to, and including, the knee) or distal upper limb (distal to, and including, the ulnar styloid); and (b) the necessary excision diameter is 14 mm or more; and (c) the excised specimen is sent for histological examination (Anaes.)

31365   Malignant skin lesion (other than a malignant skin lesion covered by item 31369, 31370, 31371, 31372 or 31373), surgical excision (other than by shave excision) and repair of, if: (a) the lesion is excised from any part of the body not covered by item 31356, 31358, 31359, 31361 or 31363; and (b) the necessary excision diameter is less than 15 mm; and (c) the excised specimen is sent for histological examination; and (d) malignancy is confirmed from the excised specimen or previous biopsy; not in association with item 45201 (Anaes.)

31366   Non-malignant skin lesion (other than viral verrucae (common warts) and seborrheic keratoses), including a cyst, ulcer or scar (other than a scar removed during the surgical approach at an operation), surgical excision (other than by shave excision) and repair of, if: (a) the lesion is excised from any part of the body not covered by item 31357, 31360, 31362 or 31364; and (b) the necessary excision diameter is less than 15 mm; and (c) the excised specimen is sent for histological examination; not in association with item 45201 (Anaes.)

31367   Malignant skin lesion (other than a malignant skin lesion covered by item 31371, 31372, 31373, 31374, 31375 or 31376), surgical excision (other than by shave excision) and repair of, if: (a) the lesion is excised from any part of the body not covered by item 31356, 31358, 31359, 31361 or 31363; and (b) the necessary excision diameter is at least 15 mm but not more than 30 mm; and (c) the excised specimen is sent for histological examination; and (d) malignancy is confirmed from the excised specimen or previous biopsy; not in association with item 45201 (Anaes.)

31368   Non-malignant skin lesion (other than viral verrucae (common warts) and seborrheic keratoses), including a cyst, ulcer or scar (other than a scar removed during the surgical approach at an operation), surgical excision (other than by shave excision) and repair of, if: (a) the lesion is excised from any part of the body not covered by item 31357, 31360, 31362 or 31364; and (b) the necessary excision diameter is at least 15 mm but not more than 30mm; and (c) the excised specimen is sent for histological examination; not in association with item 45201 (Anaes.)

31369   Malignant skin lesion (other than a malignant skin lesion covered by item 31371, 31372, 31373, 31374, 31375 or 31376), surgical excision (other than by shave excision) and repair of, if: (a) the lesion is excised from any part of the body not covered by item 31356, 31358, 31359, 31361 or 31363; and (b) the necessary excision diameter is more than 30 mm; and (c) the excised specimen is sent for histological examination; and (d) malignancy is confirmed from the excised specimen or previous biopsy (Anaes.)

31370   Non-malignant skin lesion (other than viral verrucae (common warts) and seborrheic keratoses), including a cyst, ulcer or scar (other than a scar removed during the surgical approach at an operation), surgical excision (other than by shave excision) and repair of, if: (a) the lesion is excised from any part of the body not covered by item 31357, 31360, 31362 or 31364; and (b) the necessary excision diameter is more than 30 mm; and (c) the excised specimen is sent for histological examination (Anaes.)

31371   Malignant melanoma, appendageal carcinoma, malignant connective tissue tumour of skin or merkel cell carcinoma of skin, definitive surgical excision (other than by shave excision) and repair of, if: (a) the tumour is excised from nose, eyelid, eyebrow, lip, ear, digit or genitalia, or from a contiguous area; and (b) the necessary excision diameter is 6 mm or more; and (c) the excised specimen is sent for histological examination; and (d) malignancy is confirmed from the excised specimen or previous biopsy (Anaes.)

31372   Malignant melanoma, appendageal carcinoma, malignant connective tissue tumour of skin or merkel cell carcinoma of skin, definitive surgical excision (other than by shave excision) and repair of, if: (a) the tumour is excised from face, neck, scalp, nipple-areola complex, distal lower limb (distal to, and including, the knee) or distal upper limb (distal to, and including, the ulnar styloid); and (b) the necessary excision diameter is less than 14 mm; and (c) the excised specimen is sent for histological examination; and (d) malignancy is confirmed from the excised specimen or previous biopsy; not in association with item 45201 (Anaes.)

31373   Malignant melanoma, appendageal carcinoma, malignant connective tissue tumour of skin or merkel cell carcinoma of skin, definitive surgical excision (other than by shave excision) and repair of, if: (a) the tumour is excised from face, neck, scalp, nipple-areola complex, distal lower limb (distal to, and including, the knee) or distal upper limb (distal to, and including, the ulnar styloid); and (b) the necessary excision diameter is 14 mm or more; and (c) the excised specimen is sent for histological examination; and (d) malignancy is confirmed from the excised specimen or previous biopsy (Anaes.)

31374   Malignant melanoma, appendageal carcinoma, malignant connective tissue tumour of skin or merkel cell carcinoma of skin, definitive surgical excision (other than by shave excision) and repair of, if: (a) the tumour is excised from any part of the body not covered by item 31371, 31372 or 31373; and (b) the necessary excision diameter is less than 15 mm; and (c) the excised specimen is sent for histological examination; and (d) malignancy is confirmed from the excised specimen or previous biopsy; not in association with item 45201 (Anaes.)

31375   Malignant melanoma, appendageal carcinoma, malignant connective tissue tumour of skin or merkel cell carcinoma of skin, definitive surgical excision (other than by shave excision) and repair of, if: (a) the tumour is excised from any part of the body not covered by item 31371, 31372 or 31373; and (b) the necessary excision diameter is at least 15 mm but not more than 30 mm; and (c) the excised specimen is sent for histological examination; and (d) malignancy is confirmed from the excised specimen or previous biopsy; not in association with item 45201 (Anaes.)

31376   Malignant melanoma, appendageal carcinoma, malignant connective tissue tumour of skin or merkel cell carcinoma of skin, definitive surgical excision (other than by shave excision) and repair of, if: (a) the tumour is excised from any part of the body not covered by item 31371, 31372 or 31373; and (b) the necessary excision diameter is more than 30 mm; and (c) the excised specimen is sent for histological examination; and (d) malignancy is confirmed from the excised specimen or previous biopsy (Anaes.)

45018   Dermis, dermofat or fascia graft (other than transfer of fat by injection): (a) if the service is not associated with neurosurgical services for spinal disorders mentioned in any of items51011 to 51171; and (b) other than a service associated with a service to which item39615, 39715, 40106 or 40109 applies (Anaes.) (Assist.)

45200   Single stage local flap, if indicated to repair one defect, simple and small, excluding flap for male pattern baldness and excluding H-flap or double advancement flap not in association with any of items 31356 to 31376 (Anaes.)

45201   Muscle, myocutaneous or skin flap, where clinically indicated to repair one surgical excision made in the removal of a malignant or non-malignant skin lesion (only in association with items 31000, 31001, 31002, 31003, 31004, 31005, 31358, 31359, 31360, 31363, 31364, 31369, 31370, 31371, 31373 or 31376)-may be claimed only once per defect (Anaes.)

45202   Muscle, myocutaneous or skin flap, where clinically indicated to repair one surgical excision made in the removal of a malignant or non-malignant skin lesion in a patient, if the clinical relevance of the procedure is clearly annotated in the patient’s record and either: (a) item 45201 applies and additional flap repair is required for the same defect; or (b) item 45201 does not apply and either: (i) the patient has severe pre-existing scarring, severe skin atrophy or sclerodermoid changes; or (ii) the repair is contiguous with a free margin (Anaes.)

45203   Single stage local flap, if indicated to repair one defect, complicated or large, excluding flap for male pattern baldness and excluding H-flap or double advancement flap not in association with any of items 31356 to 31376 (Anaes.) (Assist.)

45206   Single stage local flap if indicated to repair one defect, on eyelid, nose, lip, ear, neck, hand, thumb, finger or genitals and excluding H-flap or double advancement flap not in association with any of items 31356 to 31376 (Anaes.)

45439   FREE GRAFTING (split skin) to 1 defect, including elective dissection, small (Anaes.)

45445   FREE GRAFTING (split skin) as inlay graft to 1 defect including elective dissection using a mould (including insertion of, and removal of mould) (Anaes.) (Assist.)

45451   FREE GRAFTING (full thickness), to 1 defect, excluding grafts for male pattern baldness (Anaes.) (Assist.)

45461   FREE GRAFTING (split skin) to burns, including excision of burnt tissue – involving 15 percent or more but less than 20 percent of total body surface – conjoint surgery, principal surgeon (Anaes.) (Assist.)

30196   Malignant neoplasm of skin or mucous membrane that has been: (a) proven by histopathology; or (b) confirmed by the opinion of a specialist in the specialty of dermatology or plastic surgerywhere a specimen has been submitted for histologic confirmation; removal of, by serial curettage, or carbon dioxide laser or erbium laser excision‑ablation, including any associated cryotherapy or diathermy (Anaes.)

45564   Free transfer of tissue reconstructive surgery for the repair of major tissue defect due to congenital deformity, surgery or trauma, involving anastomoses of up to 2 vessels using microvascular techniques and including raising of tissue on a vascular or neurovascular pedicle, preparation of recipient vessels, transfer of tissue, insetting of tissue at recipient site and direct repair of secondary cutaneous defect if performed, other than a service associated with a service to which item 30165, 30168, 30171, 30172, 30176, 30177, 30179, 45501, 45502, 45504, 45505 or 45562 applies-conjoint surgery, principal specialist surgeon (H) (Anaes.) (Assist.)

45565   Free transfer of tissue reconstructive surgery for the repair of major tissue defect due to congenital deformity, surgery or trauma, involving anastomoses of up to 2 vessels using microvascular techniques and including raising of tissue on a vascular or neurovascular pedicle, preparation of recipient vessels, transfer of tissue, insetting of tissue at recipient site and direct repair of secondary cutaneous defect if performed, other than a service associated with a service to which item 30165, 30168, 30171, 30172, 30176, 30177, 30179, 45501, 45502, 45504, 45505 or 45562 applies-conjoint surgery, conjoint specialist surgeon (H) (Assist.)

Tumour Surgery Medicare Item Numbers

31206   Tumour, cyst, ulcer or scar (other than a scar removed during the surgical approach at an operation), removal of and suture, if: (a) the lesion size is not more than 10 mm in diameter; and (b) the removal is from a mucous membrane by surgical excision (other than by shave excision); and (c) the specimen excised is sent for histological examination (Anaes.)

31216   Tumour, cyst, ulcer or scar (other than a scar removed during the surgical approach at an operation), removal of and suture, if: (a) the lesion size is more than 20 mm in diameter; and (b) the removal is from a mucous membrane by surgical excision (other than by shave excision); and (c) the specimen excised is sent for histological examination (Anaes.)

45805   TUMOUR, CYST, ULCER OR SCAR, (other than a scar removed during the surgical approach at an operation), in the oral and maxillofacial region, more than 3 cm in diameter, removal from cutaneous or subcutaneous tissue or from mucous membrane (Anaes.)

31350   BENIGN TUMOUR of SOFT TISSUE, excluding tumours of skin, cartilage, and bone, simple lipomas covered by item 31345 and lipomata, removal of by surgical excision, where the specimen excised is sent for histological confirmation of diagnosis, on a person 10 years of age or over, not being a service to which another item in this Group applies (Anaes.) (Assist.)

To look for other Medicare Item Numbers visit the MBS Online website

Dr Michael Kernohan - Best plastic Surgeon Sydney NSW

Dr Michael Kernohan – Specialist Plastic Surgeon in Sydney NSW

Dr Michael Kernohan is a Sydney Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon providing a wide range of services from skin cancer to cosmetic surgery for the face, nose, breast and body.

He also offers complex reconstructive procedures following trauma and a range of cancer treatments using the most innovative and up-to-date treatment options.

Dr Kernohan is able to care for both public and private patients and currently has appointments in five Sydney hospitals and has an additional leadership role as Director of Surgical Specialities.

His main clinic is now located in Gregory Hills and he has 4 other locations – Bowral, Liverpool, Surry Hills (city) and Campbelltown Clinic – servicing patients in Sydney Southwest and Southern Highlands.

Please call on 1300 39 38 99 or Contact us