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Cervical Screening with the ThinPrep® Pap test

NEWS: Liquid Based Cytology (LBC), such as the ThinPrep Pap test, is now listed on the Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS) – Item 73069. This is an interim arrangement by the Department of Health until the renewed National Cervical Screening Program is implemented.

From 1 May - 30 November 2017:

LBC will be added to the MBS. For each patient a Medicare rebate will only be payable for one cervical screening test for cytology, either the LBC test or the conventional cytology test. If you choose to do both tests, you will need to inform patients that they will incur an out-of-pocket cost.

The LBC test will be set at a Medicare fee of $36.00 per test and will exist alongside the rebate for the conventional cytology test.

Please refer to the Department of Health’s letter here for the full details.

THE THINPREP PAP TEST

The ThinPrep® Pap Test (Liquid Based Cytology)

The ThinPrep Pap Test is a liquid-based Pap test that employs an alcohol based fluid transport medium to immediately preserve cells and an automated process to eliminate debris and distribute a representative portion of cells on a slide in a thin, even layer. A ThinPrep Pap test slide is clearer and easier to read as it minimises obscuring blood and mucous, to provide increased accuracy for assessment of the cells. The ThinPrep process ultimately improves the quality of the sample, preparing a slide that is clearer for diagnostic review.*

Additional investigations can also be performed from the same ThinPrep Pap test sample, such as Human Papillomavirus (HPV) testing and also chlamydia and gonorrhoea, Trichomonas vaginalis and Mycoplasma genitalium.1

Proven effectiveness

Research shows the ThinPrep Pap test as more likely to detect high-grade abnormalities compared to the conventional pap smear.*5,6 In Australia, the ThinPrep system is clinically proven to be 27% more effective at detecting high-grade abnormalities and 56% more effective at finding low-grade abnormalities compared to the conventional Pap smear.5,6 In addition there is a 94% decrease in unsatisfactory reports with the ThinPrep Pap test.7

Reproducible, representative sample

With the ThinPrep Pap test, the clinician collects the sample using either a broom-like device or the brush/spatula combination. Instead of smearing a portion of the sample onto a slide, the collection device is rinsed in the ThinPrep vial, capturing virtually the entire cell sample. The specimen is then sent to the laboratory, where an automated processor prepares the slide by dispersing and filtering the sample and then placing a representative sample on the slide.

Improved slide quality

In addition to the ThinPrep Pap test’s improved slide quality, Hologic’s proprietary technology eliminates common errors associated with preparing a specimen.* The conventional Pap smear specimen may often be clouded with blood and mucous, which can obscure cell visibility. Additionally, after the clinician prepares a conventional slide, the collection device is discarded, sometimes with more than 80% of the patient's mucous still on the device.2,

Reimbursement

The Department of Health recently announced the delay of the renewed National Cervical Screening Program until 1 December 2017. As an interim measure Liquid Based Cytology (LBC), including the ThinPrep® Pap test, has been added to the Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS) – Item 73069.

From 1 May until 30 November 2017 LBC will be added to the MBS. For each patient a Medicare rebate will only be payable for one cervical screening test for cytology, either the LBC test or the conventional cytology test. If you choose to do both tests, you will need to inform patients that they will incur an out-of-pocket cost. The LBC test will be set at a Medicare fee of $36.00 per test and will exist alongside the rebate for the conventional cytology test.

Learn more here about the renewal of the National Cervical Screening Program. View FAQs on the NCSP interim arrangements here

Chlamydia and gonorrhoea testing using the ThinPrep Pap test attracts a Medicare rebate. HPV testing is Medicare rebatable when it is performed following treatment of biopsy-confirmed high-grade cervical disease. In such circumstances the Medicare rebate is limited to two HPV tests within a 24 month period.9

The Complete Solution

One vial, multiple testing options. From a single specimen collected in the ThinPrep Pap test vial, doctors can screen for cervical disease and HPV, as well as common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) confidently and accurately.*

  • Cytology
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Chlamydia/Gonorrhoea
  • Trichomonas vaginalis
  • Mycoplasma genitalium

Note: Certain molecular tests, such as Human papillomavirus, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, Trichomonas vaginalis, Mycoplasma genitalium, can be performed from the same material collected for the ThinPrep Pap Test.

Contact your laboratory for more information.

Correct Collection Counts

An optimal ThinPrep Pap test specimen relies on accurate cell collection.

One of the best ways to achieve this is to avoid the use of lubricants as they may interfere with pathology tests. However, if necessary, a small amount of water-soluable, carbomer-free lubricant is best, applied sparingly to the outer portion of the speculum only, avoiding the tip.

The sampling protocols below provide a step-by-step guide to assist in adequate cell collection and to assist in gaining a clear read, first time, every time.

ThinPrep® Pap Test

  1. Data on file with Hologic, Inc.
  2. Davey E, et al. Accuracy of reading liquid based cytology slides using the ThinPrep Imager compared with conventional cytology: prospective study. British Medical Journal. 2007;335(7609):28
  3. ThinPrep 2000 System Package Insert 2011
  4. United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
  5. Roberts J.M. et.al. A Three-Armed Trial of the ThinPrep Imaging System. Diagnostic Cytopathology, vol. 35, no. 2, 96-102, 20
  6. Hutchinson M.L. et.al. Homogenous Sampling Accounts for the Increased Diagnostic Accuracy Using the ThinPrep Processor Am J Clin Path. 101:215-219, 1994References: