The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) will undertake a review of its dental and allied health arrangements to ensure these continue to meet the current and future needs of the veteran community. This review is a component of the 2015-16 Budget measure that paused indexation for DVA funded dental and allied health services.
The Review will consider the current scope of services provided under the dental and allied health arrangements and Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) Outreach Program Counsellors (OPC) schedule of fees, with a view to making recommendations to the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs in late 2016 for consideration in the 2017-18 Budget context. Any recommendation to the Minister will be on the basis of the Government’s priority for fiscal sustainability.
The Review will:
- consider current DVA and VVCS OPC fees, business rules, service utilisation and trends including prior approval arrangements;
- consider the quality, effectiveness and appropriateness of the current range DVA funded dental and allied health services;
- consider contemporary and evidence based trends in the delivery of dental and allied health services in Australia;
- consider opportunities to streamline interaction with DVA and identify options to reduce red-tape for health care providers;
- seek to remain cost-neutral to government – i.e. any additions to the schedules will need to be offset by reductions in other areas of the schedules;
- complement, and not duplicate, the review of the Medicare Benefits Schedule being undertaken by the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce; and
- be undertaken in consultation with representatives of the veteran community and dental and allied health care providers.
In conducting the Review, DVA will engage with health professionals and their representatives to ensure a broad representation. The Review will use existing DVA consultation fora to achieve this.
The following health services will be in-scope for the Review.
- clinical psychology
- dental – including dental specialists
- dental prosthetists
- diabetes educators
- exercise physiology
- occupational therapy (mental health)
- occupational therapy
- social workers
- social workers (mental health)
- speech pathology