The World Health Organization has announced that COVID-19 is a pandemic. As a result, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) is currently engaged in a whole-of-government response to this global health issue. This response continues to evolve and DVA is prioritising resources to ensure we can continue to meet the essential care needs of all DVA clients, including vulnerable and at-risk clients.
Building on arrangements announced by the Government in early March, all Australians can now access healthcare services, including allied health treatment, by telephone and video conferencing. Details of expanded access to healthcare services delivered through telehealth announced on 29 March 2020 can be found in the Prime Minister’s media release.
Until 30 September 2020, temporary MBS and DVA telehealth items have been made available to help reduce the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 and provide protection for patients and health care providers.
GPs, specialist medical practitioners, nurse practitioners, participating midwives and allied health providers are now able to provide services via telephone and video conferencing capabilities. A service may only be provided by telehealth where it is safe and clinically appropriate to do so.
General medical, specialist, nursing, and pathology professionals
The DVA Fee Schedules for Medical Services has been updated to mirror these temporary MBS arrangements. Further details on the new items, including patient and provider eligibility, can be found on the MBS Online website. Any queries related to the interpretation of these new MBS items should be directed to askMBS [at] health.gov.au
The DVA fee schedules and medical software vendor file are located on the DVA website.
Allied health professionals
Allied healthcare services can now be delivered to DVA clients by telehealth. DVA has updated the fee schedules for allied health providers which have been published on the fee schedules page. All allied health services provided by telehealth can be claimed from 1 April 2020.
Treatment cycle arrangements continue to apply for DVA clients seeking to access allied health services through telephone and video conferencing. Where required, clients may also access a GP referral for clinically required allied health treatment via a telehealth consultation.
Please note: This webpage will continue to be updated regularly as new arrangements come into place. We thank you for your vigilance at this time, and your ongoing support for veterans and their families.