Polysomnography in Australia--trends in provision

J Clin Sleep Med. 2007 Apr 15;3(3):281-4.


Objectives: To describe the growth in the use of state-funded (Medicare) polysomnography (PSG) in Australia since 1990 and to compare PSG growth to other common diagnostic procedures and growth in total Medicare payments.

Methods: Interrogation of online database of historical census-level data routinely collected by Medicare.

Results: There has been a steady rise in the number of PSGs performed in Australia since 1990; the growth has been faster than overall Medicare-spending growth and faster than growth in comparable diagnostic procedures. However, there are marked interstate differences in growth. Per capita data, available only for 1995 to 2004, shows that nationwide PSG provision has risen from 123 to 308 per 100,000 people enrolled in Medicare.

Conclusions: The provision of PSG in Australia has been growing steadily since publicly funded reimbursement began in 1990. This growth has been faster than the overall population growth and faster than the growth in Medicare funding for other diagnostic procedures and classes of medical interventions. However, the provision of PSG might be expected to continue to increase because the per capita provision (308 per 100,000) is still less than recent estimates from Canada and the United States (370.4 and 427.0 per 100,000, respectively).

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Electroencephalography / economics
  • Electroencephalography / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs
  • Health Services / economics*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Polysomnography / economics
  • Polysomnography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Polysomnography / trends*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / epidemiology*
  • State Medicine / economics
  • Time Factors