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Factsheet HSV80 - Local Medical Officer / General Practitioner and Medical Specialist Services

Purpose

This factsheet describes how you can access Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) funded medical services from your Local Medical Officer (LMO) / General Practitioner (GP) and medical specialists. It also provides information on the eligibility criteria required to access these services.

What is a Local Medical Officer / General Practitioner?

An LMO is a GP who provides medical care to eligible members of the veteran community.

What is a medical specialist?

A medical specialist is a medical practitioner who is qualified to practice a particular specialty of medicine.

Who is eligible?

If you have a DVA Health Card — All Conditions (Gold) or Totally & Permanently Incapacitated (Gold), DVA will pay for medical services, available through DVA arrangements, to meet your clinical needs. For more information please see the following factsheets:

If you have a DVA Health Card — Specific Conditions (White), DVA will pay for medical services provided through DVA arrangements, if they are required because of an accepted war or service caused injury or disease. Please see factsheet HSV61 — DVA Health Card — Specific Conditions (White) for information on the services available.

If you are an allied veteran, you are eligible for treatment of war caused disabilities accepted by your country of enlistment. Please see factsheet HSV62 — Commonwealth and Other Allied Veterans Living in Australia for information on the services available.

Veteran Health Checks

All those who have served in the ADF can access a comprehensive One-Off Veteran Health Check, any time after transition. A Medicare rebate is available for this. You do not need to be a DVA client to access this health check.

The Annual Veteran Health Check is available for those who transitioned after 30 June 2019. DVA fully-funds an Annual Veteran Health Check every year for the first five years after you transition. You will need your DVA Veteran card to access this.

Find out more about Veteran Health Checks

How do I access these services?

LMO / GP:

You can contact your LMO / GP directly to receive medical treatment. Please check with your LMO / GP prior to your consultation or receiving treatment that they accept DVA Health Card arrangements, and present your DVA Gold or White Health Card at the commencement of your appointment.

Medical Specialist:

Your LMO / GP can provide you with a referral to receive services from a medical specialist. Please check with the medical specialist that they accept DVA Health Card arrangements prior to your consultation or treatment and present your DVA Gold or White Health Card at the commencement of your appointment.

What happens when I visit my LMO / GP or medical specialist?

The LMO / GP or medical specialist will assess your clinical need and provide advice, treatment, a medication review, a prescription and/or a referral to another health care provider as appropriate.

The LMO / GP or medical specialist will provide you with a copy of the treatment record for your reference.

Do I need to sign a treatment record?

Your LMO / GP or medical specialist can submit treatment records electronically. If this is not the case, you may be required to sign a record of treatment at the completion of each visit to ensure your treatment is covered by DVA. Before you sign, please check that the treatment record shows all of the following:

  • your name
  • your DVA file number
  • the date of treatment
  • the item number for the service provided
  • your accepted disability or condition for which you required medical services and/or supplies (if you are a White Card holder)

If you are unable to sign, a member of your family, or someone else who attends the appointment with you, may sign on your behalf. Otherwise the LMO / GP or medical specialist must note that you are unable to sign.

What services can my LMO / GP arrange for me?

Where clinically required, your LMO / GP can:

  • provide necessary prescriptions and referrals
  • conduct regular reviews of your medication and treatment
  • coordinate all your health services
  • prepare a health care plan, health assessment or case conference for you under certain conditions
  • in some cases, perform acupuncture.

Generally, the only medical services an LMO / GP may arrange or provide for you are those listed on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS).

Are there any limits or restrictions to the services my LMO / GP or medical specialist can provide?

Yes, there are restrictions on the types of services your LMO / GP or medical specialist can provide. If your LMO / GP or medical specialist is unsure what restrictions apply they should contact DVA using the contact details under Additional Information at the end of this factsheet.

Who can my LMO / GP refer me to?

Where clinically required, your LMO / GP may refer you for either of the following:

  • Allied Health treatment such as physiotherapy, diabetes education or podiatry
  • medical specialist treatment such as cardiology or hearing services

Please refer to factsheet HSV01 — Overview of Health Services Available to the Veteran Community for a more comprehensive listing of services available to entitled persons.

Can my LMO / GP or medical specialist arrange transport for me?

Yes, your LMO / GP or medical specialist can arrange transport for you. A booked car with driver for travel to specific treatment locations can be arranged by contacting the Repatriation Transport Unit in the nearest DVA office. To make a booking, see the contact details under the Additional Information section at the end of this factsheet.

If you are aged 80 years or over, legally blind, or suffering from dementia you are not required to meet the medical criteria and can be transported to all DVA approved treatment locations.

For more information see factsheet HSV03 — DVA Arranged Transport under the Repatriation Transport Scheme.

Do I need to pay for treatment?

You should confirm prior to your appointment that the LMO / GP will accept your DVA Gold or White card for full payment of their services and will bill DVA directly for any care provided to you under DVA arrangements. This will ensure you do not incur any out of pocket expenses.

If you are billed by your LMO / GP or medical specialist, do not pay the account and advise DVA immediately.

You can refer to the National Health Service Directory (NHSD) for a list of providers you can contact to see if they accept DVA arrangements prior to making an appointment. If you cannot locate a provider on this register in your area, please contact DVA on the phone number provided under More Information below and we may be able to assist you in locating a provider who accepts DVA arrangements.

Can I choose to be treated as a Medicare or private patient?

Yes, you can choose to be treated as a Medicare or private patient. However, if you choose one of these options, DVA will not pay for any services that have been paid in part or full by Medicare, private health insurance or a third party compensation benefit.

More information

DVA general enquiries

* Calls from mobile phones and pay phones may incur additional charges.

Additional information

DVA service provider enquiries

Transport bookings

Open Arms — Veterans & Families Counselling

* Calls from some mobile phones and pay phones may incur additional charges.

Related factsheets

Disclaimer

The information contained in this Factsheet is general in nature and does not take into account individual circumstances. You should not make important decisions, such as those that affect your financial or lifestyle position on the basis of information contained in this Factsheet. Where you are required to lodge a written claim for a benefit, you must take full responsibility for your decisions prior to the written claim being determined. You should seek confirmation in writing of any oral advice you receive from DVA.

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17 July 2019