12. Glossary

Term Description


Australian Bureau of Statistics

Absolute risk score

Australian Absolute cardiovascular disease risk over 5 years is the numerical probability of a cardiovascular event occurring within a five-year period calculated using the methodology of the National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance.


American College of Cardiology


Acute coronary syndrome


Ambulatory Electrocardiogram, also referred to as ‘Holter’ monitor. (Usually refers to MBS items 11708, 11709, 11710 and 11711).


Atrial fibrillation – a type of abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia).


American Heart Association


Accessibility and Remoteness index of Australia


Atrial septal defect is a congenital hole in the wall that separates the top two chambers of the heart. This defect allows blood to leak between the oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood chambers in the heart.


Coronary artery disease


Compound annual growth rate, or the average annual growth rate over a specified time period.

Cardiovascular event

Normally includes myocardial infarction, stroke, death from a vascular cause (including coronary, pulmonary embolism, haemorrhage) or any arterial revascularisation procedure.

Committee, The

The Cardiac Services Clinical Committee


Coronary artery bypass graft, also referred to as CAGS. (Usually refers to MBS items 38498, 38500, 38501, 38503 and 38504).


Coronary artery graft surgery, also referred to as CABG. (Usually refers to MBS item 38497).

Cost neutral

Usually achieved with a weighted fee adjustment so that the net cost of the service, after considering volumes and multiple services rule applications, will be unchanged. Unless specifically noted, all restructuring or consolidation of items is intended to be cost neutral in this manner.


Computed Tomography of the coronary artery. (Usually refers to MBS items 57360 and 57361).


Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand

Department, The

Australian Government Department of Health


Australian Government Department of Human Services


Diagnostic Imaging Clinical Committee


Diagnostic Imaging Services Table

Door-to-balloon time

For patients suffering a heart attack, unblocking the blood vessel within 90 minutes leads to much better outcomes. This is measured from the time the patient arrives at the hospital ‘door’ to the time the blocked artery is re-opened which is achieved with angioplasty or a ‘balloon’. Door-to-balloon time is the time between these two points in time.


Electrocardiography is the process of recording the electrical activity of the heart over a period of time using electrodes placed on the skin. Refers to a standard 12-lead ECG unless otherwise specified. (Usually refers to MBS items 11700 -11702).


An echocardiogram is an ultrasound test that uses sound waves to see images of the heart in real-time. (Usually refers to MBS items in the range 55113 to 55123).


External loop recorder. A device that allows ambulatory electrocardiography (ECG) documentation over a longer period of time. The ELR comprises a pager like device that fastens to the patient's belt, from which 2 leads are attached to electrodes on the chest. (Usually refers to MBS items 11710 and 11711).


European Society of Cardiology


Exercise Stress Testing is a walking treadmill test primarily performed to aid in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease, though it can also assist in the investigation of cardiac arrhythmias. The patient walks on the treadmill while undergoing ECG monitoring. Also referred to as a stress ECG or standard stress test. (Usually refers to MBS item 11712).


Fractional flow reserve is a technique used in coronary catheterization to measure pressure differences across a coronary artery stenosis (narrowing, usually due to atherosclerosis) to determine the likelihood that the stenosis impedes oxygen delivery to the heart muscle (myocardial ischaemia). (Usually refers to MBS item 38241).


Financial year


General Practitioner


Glyceryl trinitrate, a commonly used medication for the treatment of angina.

High-value care

Services of proven efficacy reflecting current best medical practice, or for which the potential benefit to consumers exceeds the risk and costs.




Invasive Coronary Angiography. During coronary angiography, a small catheter (a thin hollow tube with a diameter of 2-3 mm) is inserted through the skin into an artery in the groin or the arm. Guided with the assistance of a fluoroscope (x-ray viewing instrument), the catheter is then advanced to the opening of the coronary arteries. Next, a small amount of radiographic contrast is injected into each coronary artery. The images reveal the extent and severity of all coronary arterial blockages and other abnormalities. (Usually refers to MBS items 59903, 59925, 59971 and 59973);

Note: this is distinct from Invasive Coronary Angioplasty (angioplasty). A procedure in which a balloon catheter is used and inflated to widen a narrowed or blocked artery identified during angiography. (Usually refers to MBS items 38300, 38303, 38309, 38312, 38315 and 38318).


Ischaemic heart disease also known as coronary artery disease, is an insufficient blood supply to the heart muscle.


Implanted loop recorder, also known as an insertable cardiac monitor. A small machine that works as an electrocardiogram (ECG), continuously picking up electrical signal from the heart. (Usually refers to MBS items 11722 and 38285).

Inappropriate use / misuse

The use of MBS services for purposes other than those intended. This includes a range of behaviours, from failing to adhere to particular item descriptors or rules through to deliberate fraud.


Left internal mammary artery.

Low-value care

Services that evidence suggests confer no or very little benefit to consumers; or for which the risk of harm exceeds the likely benefit; or, more broadly, where the added costs of services do not provide proportional added benefits.


Left ventricular ejection fraction is the measurement of how much blood is being pumped out of the left ventricle of the heart (the main pumping chamber) with each contraction.

LV gram

Left ventriculogram is a coronary catheterisation procedure in which a thin tube (called a catheter) is threaded through an artery up toward your heart. An x-ray contrast solution is injected through the catheter so that an X-ray can capture images of the blood flow.


Medicare Benefits Schedule

MBS item

An administrative object listed in the MBS and used for the purposes of claiming and paying Medicare benefits, consisting of an item number, service descriptor and supporting information, schedule fee and Medicare benefits.

MBS service

The actual medical consultation, procedure or test to which the relevant MBS item refers.


Myocardial perfusion scan. A nuclear medicine procedure in which a small amount of a radiopharmaceutical or radioactive tracer is injected into a vein. The scan is used to evaluate the heart’s function and blood flow. (Usually refers to MBS items 61302, 61303, 61306 and 613070).


Medical Services Advisory Committee


The National Institute for Health and Care Excellent


Nuclear Medicine Working Group (of the DICC)

Obsolete services

Services that should no longer be provided as they do not represent current clinical best practice and have been superseded by superior tests or procedures.


Optimal Medical Therapy


Off-pump coronary artery bypass or off-pump coronary artery graft surgery.


Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme


Percutaneous coronary intervention is a procedure that uses a catheter (a thin flexible tube) to place a small device called a stent to open up blood vessels in the heart that have been narrowed and are causing restricted blood flow to the heart muscle. (Usually refers to MBS items 38300, 30803, 38306, 38309, 38312, 38315 & 38318).


Patent foramen ovale is a hole in the heart that didn’t close the way it should after birth.


Retrograde cardioplegia


Right internal mammary artery

Services average annual growth

The average growth per year, over five years to 2014/15, in utilisation of services. Also known as the compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

Standard echo

See Echo

Standard EST



ST elevation myocardial infarction is one type of heart attack that can be defined as a development of full thickness cardiac muscle damage resulting from an acute interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart and can be demonstrated by ECG change in a specific pattern called ST-segment elevation.

Stress echo

An abbreviation for stress echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart performed at rest and after a stress has been applied to increase heart rate. Unless specifically mentioned, the stress applied is usually on an exercise treadmill. Drug infusions can also be used as the stressor. (Usually refers to MBS item 55116 for exercise stress or item 55117 for drug stress)

Taskforce, The

The MBS Review Taskforce


Transcatheter aortic valve implantation


Transient ischaemic attack


A transoesophageal echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart using a special probe that scans the heart from inside the oesophagus. (Usually refers to items 55130, 55131, 55135, and 55136).

Total benefits

Total benefits paid in 2014/15 unless otherwise specified.


Victorian Cardiac Outcomes Registry