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Cardiac Testing Services - Clinical Labs Vic

Clinical Labs Victoria offers a variety of tests to help you monitor patients presenting with cardiac-related symptoms.
These range from on-the-spot ECGs to 24-hour Holter and ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. 

 

Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor Update 


As of 1 November 2021, ambulatory blood pressure monitors are included on the Medicare Benefits Schedule.
Certain patients may be eligible for a Medicare rebate (see below for further details)
.

 


AMBULATORY BLOOD PRESSURE MONITORS


Why choose ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM)?

Recognised as a gold standard test for blood pressure assessment, ABPM provides interval measurement over 24 hours for a full diagnostic assessment of blood pressure, while allowing for circadian rhythm and white coat or masked hypertension concerns. It is also effective in the assessment of drug effects, patient activity, and work influence, while providing better correlation with end-organ damage than isolated BP readings.

  • Expert interpretation by cardiologist
  • Rapid report turnaround

 

How does ABPM work?

Automatic cuff inflation occurs every 30 minutes during the day and every 1 hour overnight, with ambulatory pulse waves, peripheral blood pressure, central haemodynamics, and arterial stiffness measured over a 24 hour period to create a haemodynamic day/night profile. At the end of each test, comprehensive analysis is completed, and a report is provided by experienced cardiologists.

How to order:

Step 1: Complete a Clinical Labs referral form and request 24-hour ABPM monitor.

Step 2: Patients will need to call a Clinical Labs Collection Centre offering this service to book a time for collection and fitting of their ABPM. ABPMs are available at select Clinical Labs collection centres. To find the nearest collection centre offering ABPM, visit clinicallabs.com.au/location and select ‘BP Monitor’ from the ‘All Facilities’ drop-down menu.

Turnaround time:

Your patient’s ABPM report will be available 3 business days from the return of the ABPM to the Clinical Labs Collection Centre.

Medicare Benefits Schedule Changes


As of 1 November 2021, ambulatory blood pressure monitors are included on the Medicare Benefits Schedule. Certain patients may be eligible for a Medicare rebate.

Medicare Item information below:

11607: Continuous ambulatory blood pressure recording for 24 hours or more for a patient if:
(a) the patient has a clinic blood pressure (using a sphygmomanometer or a validated oscillometric blood pressure monitoring device) of either or both of the following measurements:
     (i) systolic blood pressure greater than or equal to 140mmHg and less than or equal to 180 mmHg;
     (ii) diastolic blood pressure greater than or equal to 90 mmHg and less than or equal to 110 mmHg; and
(b) the patient has not commenced anti-hypertensive therapy; and
(c) the recording includes the patient's resting blood pressure; and 
(d) the recording is conducted using microprocessor-based analysis equipment; and
(e) the recording is interpreted by a medical practitioner and a report is prepared by the same medical practitioner; and
(f) a treatment plan is provided for the patient; and
(g) the service:
     (i) is not provided in association with ambulatory electrocardiogram recording, and 
     (ii) is not associated with a service to which a service to which any of the following items apply:
(A) 177;
(B) 224 to 228;
(C) 229 to 244;
(D) 699;
(E) 701 to 707;
(F) 715;
(G) 721 to 732;
(H) 735 to 758.
Applicable only once in a 12 month period.

 



HOLTER MONITORS


The resting 12-lead electrocardiograph (ECG) only provides a snapshot of rhythm at a specific moment, whereas arrhythmias may be short-lived, paroxysmal, and even asymptomatic, making documentation challenging in many patients. Ambulatory ECG monitoring has been developed to record the ECG over a set period of time in patients suspected of having cardiac arrhythmias. A Holter monitor is preferred over other monitoring methods as it offers a 24-hour window of the heart rate changes and can be correlated with symptoms.





Arrhythmia indications for ambulatory ECG monitoring

  • Cardiac palpitations
  • Unexplained syncope or dizziness
  • Suspected slow heart rhythms
  • Hereditary ‘‘electrical” abnormalities
  • Evaluation of abnormal ECG; ectopy and heart block
  • Cryptogenic stroke evaluation to document paroxysmal atrial fibrillation
  • Assessment of the success of antiarrhythmic or ablative therapy
  • Evaluation of ventricular tachycardia
  • Paediatric monitoring
  • Following acute myocardial infarction
  • Potentially lethal arrhythmias with congestive and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Monitoring cardiac implantable electronic device therapy
  • Chest pain or dyspnoea thought to be associated with arrhythmias

 

The role of GPs in cardiac testing


Cardiologists prefer that patients presenting with the common warning signs, such as palpitations, unexplained dizziness,
and slow heart rhythms, undergo 
Holter monitor testing from their GP before being referred to a specialist. By having the
patient undertake the Holter test while waiting to 
see a cardiologist, the necessary data and results are already available 
when the patient sees the specialist. This approach shortens the diagnostic process, enabling the cardiologist to make
the most informed 
decision from the outset.

 

How to order:

Step 1: Complete a Clinical Labs referral form and request 24-hour Holter monitor.

Step 2: Patients will need to call a Clinical Labs Collection Centre offering this service to book a time to collect and be fitted with their Holter monitor. Holter monitors are available at select Clinical Labs collection centres. To find the nearest collection centre offering Holter monitors, visit clinicallabs.com.au/location and select ‘Holter’ from the ‘All Facilities’ drop down menu.

Cost:

The out-of-pocket cost is $40 for Medicare card holders for the first 24 hours. Testing is bulk billed for pension card holders. Medicare rebatable only once in a 4-week period. For each additional 24 hours, the out-of-pocket cost is $185.50. Please note: Testing for inpatients is not covered by Medicare. 

Turnaround time:

Your patient’s Holter monitor report will be available within 3 business days from the return of the Holter monitor to the Clinical Labs Collection Centre.

Clinical article

Holter Monitors and their Importance in the Identification of Cardiac Arrhythmias by Associate Professor Harry G Mond OAM


Download Doctor BrochureDownload Patient Brochure

 



ECG

Since its introduction as a clinical investigative tool, the 12-lead ECG has been the gold standard for the recognition of cardiac arrhythmias.


How to order:

Step 1: Complete a Clinical Labs referral form and request an ECG.

Step 2: ECG is a walk-in service; there is no need to book. Your patient can attend any Clinical Labs Collection Centre offering the ECG service. The ECG service is available at select Clinical Labs collection centres. To find the nearest collection centre offering this service, visit clinicallabs.com.au/location and select ‘ECG’ from the ‘All Facilities’ drop down menu.



Cost:

Out-of-pocket cost of $40 for Medicare card holders, bulk billed for pension card holders ($45 out-of-pocket for inpatients). 

Turnaround time:

Your patient’s ECG report will be available 4 hours after their test at the Clinical Labs Collection Centre.

To speak to a member of our cardiac services team today, call 1300 134 111 and follow the prompts.