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Improved Dental and Allied Health (for clients)

Overview

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) wants its dental and allied health service arrangements to continue meeting the needs of veterans and their families. 

For this reason, DVA is making changes to strengthen the quality of allied health care. From July 2019, this will include increasing general practitioner (GP) involvement in treatment. The aim is to make sure that clients get the clinically necessary allied health treatment that they need. As a DVA cardholder, your need for allied health care will be determined by your GP in consultation with you.

The package of changes was announced in the 2018–19 Budget, and has four main elements that will be implemented in a phased approach (see Budget 2018–19 fact sheet — Improved Dental and Allied Health).

These changes were informed by a review (see Review of DVA Dental and Allied Health Arrangements — Final Report).

Further information can be found at the following frequently asked questions (FAQs) document:

A new treatment cycle for allied health services

Under current DVA arrangements, the GP may refer you to allied health services for up to a year (except for dental and optical). For chronic conditions, the GP may make an ongoing referral.

Under new DVA arrangements to start from 1 July 2019, GPs will be able to make a referral to allied health services for up to 12 sessions or a year, whichever comes sooner. This new arrangement will also apply to those DVA cardholders with a chronic condition.  Dental and optical services will continue to be excluded from these GP referral arrangements.

The new arrangements will be called the "treatment cycle" (see Figure 1).

At the end of the treatment cycle, the allied health provider will report back to your GP who will assess if you need further treatment. If you do, your GP may refer you for a further treatment cycle of up to 12 sessions, or may refer you to another provider if that better suits your needs, or may consider another type of treatment. You may have as many treatment cycles as are clinically required. You may also have more than one treatment cycle in place at the same time. For instance, you may have a cycle of treatment from a dietician, podiatrist and physiotherapist at the same time.

There will not be any limit on the number of clinically required treatment cycles that you need. You will receive as many services as assessed to be clinically needed by your GP.

We expect many GP assessments and referrals to be included in current GP visits as on average, DVA cardholders go to their GP 12 times per year.

Figure 1: Operation of the treatment cycle

See alternative text version, via link attached to this image.

Other initiatives

Other initiatives in this package are:

  1. Working with selected allied health professions to undertake a trial of new funding approaches for allied health services. The aim is to consider how to improve outcomes for DVA cardholders.
  2. An upgrade to the DVA dental and allied health schedules to include new items, to take account of new technologies and techniques.

In addition, DVA will make some technical changes to schedules in consultation with provider associations.

List of dental and allied health services for DVA cardholders

DVA funds a wide range of dental and allied health services for cardholders, which are provided in the following list:

  • chiropractic
  • clinical psychology
  • dental
  • dental specialities
  • dental prosthetics
  • diabetes education
  • dietetics
  • exercise physiology
  • neuropsychology
  • occupational therapy
  • occupational therapy (mental health)
  • optometry
  • orthoptics
  • osteopathy
  • physiotherapy
  • podiatry
  • psychology
  • social work
  • social work (mental health)
  • speech pathology.

 

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