Department of Veterans Affairs – delay to changes announced

 

The Department of Veteran Affairs had announced that changes to its Treatment Cycle Initiative (TCI), would be introduced on 1 July 2019.

AHPA liaised with Minister for Veterans Darren Chester, following expressions of concern by its members, including AASW, on the short notice of these changes and the absence of preparation and guidance provided to the allied health sector to facilitate a successful transition to the TCI for both clients and providers.

The Minister has now announced that the changes will begin on 1 October 2019 to provide more time for the Department of Veterans Affairs to meet with stakeholders.

We have been advised that this means that between 1 July 2019 and 30 September 2019 there are no changes to existing referral arrangements for DVA clients, including those clients who have a Totally and Permanently Incapacitated (TPI) Gold Card.

AASW members should continue to provide DVA clients with clinically necessary treatment under existing referrals.

The Government has recognised that DVA clients, allied health providers, and general practitioners need more support and more detailed information before the treatment cycle commences. Moving the starting date to 1 October 2019 will enable DVA to work closely with key stakeholders to address issues that have been identified through recent feedback. DVA will also be able to release detailed guidance on the treatment cycle arrangements before they take effect.

Referral arrangements for TPI DVA clients

During the recent Federal election, the Government announced the treatment cycle will not apply to physiotherapy or exercise physiology services for DVA clients who have a TPI Gold Card.

When the treatment cycle commences on 1 October 2019, current referral arrangements will continue to apply for TPI clients for exercise physiology or physiotherapy services where these services are clinically necessary. The treatment cycle will apply for TPI clients for referrals to other allied health services, including social workers.

Further consultation and communication

DVA will consult with AASW and other provider associations to ensure health providers have clear guidance on the treatment cycle before it starts on 1 October 2019.

For more information, visit the Department of Veterans' Affairs website.