Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Illawarra Radiology Group operates 1 Medicare Eligible MRI scanners located at Wollongong.

At all of these locations patients who present for a MRI are scanned in accordance with the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS). This means for a patient to be entitled to a Medicare Rebate their request must be from a Specialist Physician and comply with specific indications which must be present and stated on the request form.

Below is a list of the indications for the scans performed by Illawarra Radiology Group:

Anatomiacal RegionIndication
BreastMagnetic Resonance Imaging performed under the professional supervision of an eligible provider at an eligible location where the patient is referred by a specialist or by a consultant physician and where;
  1. A dedicated breast coil is used; and
  2. The request for scan identifies that the woman is asymptomatic and is less than 50 years of age; and
  3. The request for scan identifies either;
  • That the patient is at high risk of developing breast cancer, due to 1 of the following:
  • that generic testing has identified the presence of a high risk breast cancer gene mutation.
  • 3 or more first or second degree relatives on the same side of the family diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer;
  • 2 or more first or second degree relatives on the same side of the family diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer, if any of the following applies to at least 1 of the relatives:
  1. Has been diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer;
  2. Had onset of breast cancer before the age of 40 years;
  3. Had onset of ovarian cancer before the age of 50 years;
  4. Has been diagnosed with breast and ovarian cancer, at the same time or at different times;
  5. Has Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry;
  6. Is a male relative who has been diagnosed with breast cancer;
  • 1 first or second degree relative diagnosed with breast cancer at age 45 years or younger, plus another first or second degree relative on the same side of the family with bone or soft tissue sarcoma at age 45 years or younger; or

Scan of both breasts for:

  • detection of cancer (R)
HeadUnlimited referrals:
  • Tumour of the brain or meningies
  • Inflammation of the brain or meningies
  • Skull base or orbital tumour
  • Stereotactic scan of brain

Benefits payable for each service on 3 occasions in 12 months:

  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Pituitary tumour
  • Toxic or metabolistic or ischemic encephalopathy
  • Demyelinating disease of the brain
  • Congenital malformation of the brain or meningies
  • Venous sinus thrombosis
  • Head trauma
  • Epilepsy
  • Stroke
  • Carotid or vertebral artery dissection
  • Intracranial aneurysm
  • Intracranial arteriovenous malformation
Head and neck vesselsBenefits payable for each service on 3 occasions in 12 months:
  • MRI/MRA of extra/or intracranial circulation for stroke
Head and cervical spineUnlimited referrals:
  • Tumour of the CNS of meningies
  • Inflammation of the CNS or meningies

Benefits payable for each service on 3 occasions in 12 months:

  • Demyelinating disease of the CNS
  • Congenital malformation of the CNS and meningies
  • Syrinx (congenital or acquired)
Spine – one region or two contiguous regionsUnlimited Referrals:
  • Infection
  • Tumour

Benefits payable for each service on 3 occasions in 12 months:

  • Demyelinating disease
  • Congenital malformation of the spinal cord or the corda equina or meningies
  • Myelopathy
  • Syrinx (congenital or acquired)
  • Cervical radiculopathy
  • Sciatica
  • Spinal canal stenosis
  • Previous spinal injury
  • Trauma
Spine – three contiguous regions or two non-contiguous regionsUnlimited Referrals:
  • Infection
  • Tumour

Benefits payable for each service on 3 occasions in 12 months:

  • Demyelinating disease
  • Congenital malformation of the spinal cord or the corda equina or meningies
  • Myelopathy
  • Syrinx (congenital or acquired)
  • Cervical radiculopathy
  • Sciatica
  • Spinal canal stenosis
  • Previous spinal injury
  • Trauma
Cervical spine and brachial plexusBenefits payable for each service on 3 occasions in 12 months:
  • Tumour
  • Trauma
  • Cervical radiculopathy
  • Previous surgery
Musculoskeletal systemUnlimited referrals:
  • Tumour arising in bone or musculoskeletal system, this excludes tumours arising in breast, prostate or rectum
  • Infection arising in bone or musculoskeletal system, this excludes tumours arising from the breast, prostate or rectum
  • Ostenocrosis

Benefits payable for each service on 3 occasions in 12 months:

  • Derangement of hip or its supporting structures
  • Derangement of shoulder
  • Derangement of knee
  • Derangement of ankle and/or foot
  • Derangement of one or both TMJ’s
  • Derangement of hand and/or wrist
  • Derangement of elbow

Benefits payable for each service on 2 occasions in 12 month:

  • Gaucher disease
Cardiovascular systemBenefits payable for each service on 2 occasions in 12 months:
  • Congenital disease of the heart or a great vessel
  • Tumour of the heart or a great vessel
  • Abnormality of the thoracic area

Benefits payable for each service on 3 occasions in 12 months:

  • MRA for vascular abnormality in a patient with a previous anaphylactic reaction to iodinated contrast medium
  • MRA for obstruction of the superior vena cava, inferior vena cava or a major pelvic vein
BodyBenefits payable for each service on 1 occasion within 12 months:
  • Adrenal mass in a patient with a malignancy which is otherwise resectable
Pelvis and upper abdomenBenefits payable may vary between patients:
  • Pelvis for the staging of histologically diagnosed cervical cancer at FIGO stages 1B or greater
  • Pelvis and upper abdomen, in single examination for the staging of histologically diagnosed cervical cancer at FIGO stages 1B or greater
  • Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) for suspected billary or pancreatic pathology
Persons under the age of 16Benefits payable for each service on 1 occasion in 12 months:
  • MRA for vasculature of limbs prior to limb or digit transfer surgery in congenital limb deficiency syndrome

Benefits payable for each service on 2 occasions in 12 months:

  • Post-inflammatory or post-traumatic physeal fusion
  • Gaucher disease

Unlimited referrals:

  • Pelvic or abdominal mass
  • Mediastinal mass
  • Congenital uterine or anrectal abnormality