PATIENT TRAVEL

        Information Booklet for Patients

Depar tment of Heal th and Human Ser vices
    What is the Patient Travel                            • are accessing a medical service that is not
    Assistance Scheme?                                      covered by the Scheme;
    The Patient Travel Assistance Scheme (PTAS)           • are entitled to financial assistance through
    provides financial assistance with travel and/          another scheme e.g. Motor Accident Insurance
    or accommodation costs for Tasmanian                    Board (MAIB), Department of Veterans Affairs
    permanent residents to access a range of                (DVA), Workers Compensation, or other
    specialist medical services, where these                compensable schemes;
    services are not available locally.                   • are travelling to a specialist that is not the
    This is an assistance scheme only and you are           closest available appropriate specialist in
    expected to make a patient contribution.                Tasmania; or
                                                          • live within 75 km (or 50 km for dialysis/
    Am I eligible for PTAS?                                 oncology) of the facility where the medical
    You will be eligible for financial assistance under     specialist is seeing you;
    PTAS if you:                                          • seek specialist medical treatment outside
    • are a Tasmanian permanent resident;                   Australia; or
    • are being referred to:                              • are referred for interstate services on the
      – the nearest oncology/dialysis treatment             basis of shorter waiting lists.
        centre more than 50 km (one-way) from
                                                          What kinds of specialist medical services
        your home; or
                                                          are covered?
      – a specialist medical service/lymphoedema
                                                          The specialist medical services for which
        treatment more than 75 km (one-way)
                                                          assistance is provided are defined as:
        from your home; or
                                                          • services funded by the Tasmanian public
      – a specialist medical service not available
                                                            hospital system (including those services that
        in Tasmania;
                                                            would be provided in Tasmanian hospitals if
    • are travelling by a normal form of transport (the     the specialist staff and infrastructure were
      scheme does not meet ambulance costs);                available); and
    • have a PTAS application form signed by your         • services covered by an item in the
      referring medical specialist, oral/maxillofacial      Commonwealth Medicare Benefits Schedule
      surgeon or rural GP referring you to the              (MBS) except services specified elsewhere in
      nearest appropriate specialist; and                   the policy; or
    • receive treatment claimable under Medicare          • emergency dental services (defined as
      from a recognised medical specialist.                 treatment of dental haemorrhage, facial/
    When wouldn’t I receive PTAS assistance?                neck swelling of a dental origin, or oral/
    Financial assistance under PTAS is not available        facial trauma including trauma to dentistry)
    if you:

2   Patient Travel Assistance Scheme
  provided by a general dental practitioner or             O
                                                        •	 	 ther	areas	as	determined	by	the	
  an	oral/maxillofacial	surgeon;	or                        PTAS	Committee.
•	 	 outine	dental	treatment,	in	circumstances	
   r                                                    GP Proceduralists
   where a patient’s medical condition                  Some medical services performed by GP
   necessitates specialist medical backup at the        Proceduralists are regarded as specialist medical
   time of dental treatment (e.g. coagulation           service under the Scheme.
   disorders, epilepsy, etc.).
                                                        Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)
What services are not eligible?                         PGD is benefited where there is a known genetic
The following services are ineligible for               disorder in a family and for which PGD is available.
assistance under the scheme:
                                                        In some cases patients are eligible for assistance for
•	 	 urgery	provided	for	cosmetic	reasons	only;         independent midwifery service, or participation in
•	 	 eneral	dental	and	orthodontic	services	
   g                                                    a clinical trial, subject to approval on a clinical basis.
   (except	in	cases	as	defined	above);
                                                        Who can make the referrals?
•	 	 llied	health	services;
                                                        The referral to a specialist medical service must
•	 	ntro	Vitro	Fertilisation	(IVF)	services	            be made by either:
   irrespective of whether it is for infertility or
                                                        •	 	 	medical	specialist	or	oral/maxillofacial	
   for	any	other	reason;	
                                                           surgeon who is recognised in the appropriate
•	 	 ervices	that	do	not	satisfy	the	“nearest	             speciality for the purpose of the Health
   specialist	service”	definition;	or	                     Insurance Act 1973;	or
•	 experimental	treatment.
                                                        •	 a	rural	GP.	
Some medical or allied health services are
eligible for PTAS. Please refer below or to the
                                                        What financial assistance is available for
PTAS policy and guidelines for more details.
                                                        travelling in Tasmania?
                                                        Financial assistance is available towards approved
What other medical or allied health                     air and road travel, and accommodation (where
services are eligible for PTAS?                         applicable) expenses.
Other eligible medical and allied health
                                                        You can either make your own travel and/or
services include:
                                                        accommodation arrangements and claim
Jack Jumper Ant Allergy Program                         reimbursement on your return home from the
Allied Health Services                                  specialist treatment, or organise with the local
                                                        PTAS	Coordinator	to	pre-book	your	travel	
•	 	 ravelling	for	allied	health	services	(for	
                                                        and/or accommodation.
   example, artificial limb fitting) as a part of the
   whole	medical	treatment	process;	or                  The reimbursement rate for you and your
•	 	 ravelling	for	lymphoedema	treatment;	and
   T                                                    approved escort(s) are as follows:

                                                                            Patient Travel Assistance Scheme 3
    Travel                                               Accommodation
    • the cost of return economy bus tickets; or         • A maximum of $64 per night for commercial
    • private vehicle travel (19 cents/km) to and          accommodation for each approved person.
      from the medical facility.
                                                         What contribution do I make?
    Residents of King Island and the Furneaux Islands    Travel
    • The cost of a return economy airfare (Island       Health Care or Pensioner Concession
      Resident rates), plus the cost of the most         cardholders are required to contribute $15
      economical, appropriate form of transport          towards the cost of each return journey.
      from the destination airport to and from the       Non-cardholders are required to contribute
      medical facility.                                  $75 towards the cost of each return journey.
                                                         In any one financial year, the maximum
                                                         contribution for a cardholder is $120, and
    • A maximum of $46 per night for commercial          for a non-cardholder is $300. If these limits
      accommodation for each approved person.            are reached, no further contributions will be
                                                         required for that year.
    What financial assistance is available for
    travelling interstate (outside Tasmania)?            You and any approved escort are required to
    Financial assistance is available towards approved   meet the additional costs incurred if you choose
                                                         a more expensive form of transport than that
    air/sea and road travel, and some accommodation
                                                         approved (e.g. travel by air when road transport
    (where applicable) expenses.
                                                         is assessed as appropriate).
    Your local PTAS Coordinator will assist
    you by making air/ferry ticket and
                                                         You and your approved escort are required to
    accommodation bookings.
                                                         meet the cost where the accommodation cost is
    The reimbursement rate for you and your              over the accommodation subsidy rate per night,
    approved escort(s) are as follows:                   per approved person.
    Travel                                               Non-cardholders and your escort are required
    • If you live more than 75 km from the airport/      to pay the first two nights’ accommodation costs
      ferry terminal you can claim assistance with       for each stay.
      costs incurred for travel between home and
      the departure point.                               Can I stay overnight before or after the
    • Your air/ferry ticket will be paid at no more      medical appointment?
      than economy class.                                Financial assistance towards accommodation
    • You may also claim your travel by the              costs may be provided in the following
      most economical transport option that              circumstances if:
      is appropriate, between the airport/ferry          • transport to and from the health facility is not
      terminal to the specialist medical facility.         possible in the same day;

4   Patient Travel Assistance Scheme
• the referring or nominated specialist certifies that   from DHHS which means you will only have to
  overnight stay is required for clinical reasons;       pay the “gap” between the accommodation fee
• there are limited air services to King Island or       and the PTAS accommodation allowance when
  Furneaux Islands; or                                   checking out.
• approval has been granted to extend your stay          A number of accommodation providers offer
  by one or two days to attend associated allied         a special daily or weekly rate especially for
  health appointments.                                   patients and their carers. This information can
                                                         be obtained from your local PTAS office or
Can I get an accommodation subsidy if
                                                         online at
I stay with my family or friends? How
about parking fee and meals costs?                       If you are unable to pay up-front, please
Private accommodation, parking or any                    contact your local PTAS office to discuss
incidental costs (e.g. phone calls or meals) are         alternative options.
not eligible for reimbursement.                          Can I get exemption for paying the
Can I have someone travel with me?                       patient contribution?
The Scheme assists with the travel and                   If you anticipate difficulty in paying the patient
accommodation costs of an escort accompanying            contribution, please contact your local PTAS
you if you are under the age of 18 years.                office to discuss.
If you are aged 18 years or over, an escort may          You will be required to prove that you are in
be eligible for financial assistance if the escort       financial difficulty. If your claim for hardship
is necessary to actively assist you during your
                                                         consideration is accepted, you will not be
travel or treatment.
                                                         refused to access PTAS.
In some exceptional circumstances, approval
may be given for financial assistance for more           Am I eligible for PTAS if I travel
than one escort.                                         interstate for a specialist medical service
                                                         which is also available in Tasmania?
I can’t afford to pay up-front for
                                                         No. The Tasmanian Government is strongly
transportation costs. Can PTAS help?
                                                         committed to provide as many medical services
Yes. If you anticipate difficulty in paying the          as possible to all Tasmanians. If you wish to
travel cost up-front, please contact your local
                                                         access a specialist medical service interstate, this
PTAS Coordinator to discuss an alternative
                                                         will attract a cost to the Tasmanian Government
                                                         through an Interstate Charging Agreement
I can’t afford to pay up-front for                       between the Tasmanian Government and other
accommodation cost. Can PTAS help?                       jurisdiction governments.
Some accommodation providers agree to receive            To ensure our services are safe, sustainable
the PTAS accommodation allowance directly                and appropriate to all Tasmanians, you are

                                                                           Patient Travel Assistance Scheme 5
    encouraged to support Tasmania’s health system           If you miss the appointment without good
    and access the service in Tasmania.                      reason or do not provide adequate notice, you
                                                             are not eligible for a second trip unless there are
    As a pregnant woman living on King                       exceptional circumstances.
    Island or Flinders Island, do I get any
    financial assistance prior to the birth                  My specialist appointment is cancelled
    of my baby under PTAS?                                   or postponed. Can I get travel and/or
    Yes. You are entitled to two weeks’                      accommodation reimbursement?
    accommodation support prior to the birth of              Yes. In the event that:
    your baby (longer if the pregnancy is complicated)       • a hospital admission for an elective procedure
    as well as support for necessary antenatal travel.         has been postponed; or
    Your travel cost is based on the cost of a return
                                                             • a specialist appointment is cancelled or
    economy airfare (Island Resident rates), plus the
                                                               postponed; or
    cost of the most economical, appropriate form of
    transport from the destination airport to and from       • the patient is not notified until after
    the medical facility.                                      commencing the journey.

    I am an organ donor or recipient.                        In these cases, the Scheme will provide the level
    Am I eligible for PTAS? Can someone                      of financial assistance allowable towards the cost
                                                             of your travel.
    travel with me?
    Yes. The donor and recipient are both eligible           Can I ask for a second medical opinion
    for the travel and accommodation subsidy.                and get reimbursement associated with
    An escort is also approved to accompany each of          my travel?
    you. Escorts’ accommodation will be subsidised           If your medical specialist requests a further
    from the night prior to the operation until the          opinion, you are entitled to receive the
    patient (either donor or recipient) is medically         appropriate travel allowance and, if necessary,
    fit to return home. This means that the donor            an accommodation allowance, to enable you to
    and escort are only subsidised until the donor is        travel to and from the nominated specialist.
    medically fit to return home, although it is likely
    that this will be prior to the return of the recipient   If seeking a further medical opinion in your own
    and his/her escort.                                      right, you are not eligible for travel assistance.

    What if I miss my scheduled flight and                   How do I apply for assistance?
    medical appointment?                                     Your referring specialist or rural GP will normally
    DHHS will only pay for one journey to a                  provide you with the PTAS application form
    medical appointment.                                     when you are referred for a specialist medical
                                                             service. They should complete Section A of the
    If you are unable to travel on a pre-paid journey,       PTAS form at this time and give it to you.
    you must provide 24 hours notice of cancellation.

6   Patient Travel Assistance Scheme
Wherever possible, the completed PTAS                • Bank name
application form should be submitted to              • BSB number
your local PTAS Coordinator as soon as
                                                     • Account number
the application form is completed by your
referring specialist and you. This allows time       When will I receive the reimbursement?
for the eligibility and level of assistance to be
                                                     You should expect to receive the reimbursement
assessed, and to inform you of the outcome
                                                     of the travel and/or accommodation subsidy
of the application prior to making travel and
                                                     within four weeks.
accommodation arrangements.
                                                     What are my responsibilities in applying
It is important to note that the lodgement
                                                     for PTAS?
of an application form does not in itself
represent approval.                                  It is your responsibility to:
                                                     • submit a PTAS application form to your local
What do I do if I need to travel urgently              PTAS Office as soon as the application form is
for my treatment and do not have time                  completed by your referring medical specialist
to submit the PTAS application form?                   or rural GP;
If you need to travel urgently, please contact the   • ensure Section C of the PTAS application form
PTAS Coordinator directly to organise travel           is completed by the nominated specialist;
arrangements, subject to approval.                   • travel and attend medical appointment
On your return, please complete the application        as arranged;
form and together with relevant receipts submit      • give adequate notice if unable to travel; and
to the PTAS Coordinator for reimbursement.           • provide up-to-date contact details and bank
                                                       account details if reimbursement is expected.
What is the time limit in submitting the
receipts after the journey is completed?             Where can I find out more about PTAS?
All claims, with all necessary documentation         To discuss PTAS eligibility requirements
attached, must be lodged within four months of       or benefits, please call your nearest PTAS
return from treatment.                               Coordinator.

How will I receive the reimbursement?                Information may also be obtained from:
Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) is the only           • Department of Health and Human Services
method of reimbursement.                     
                                                     • Service Tasmania
You are required to fill in your bank details
on Section B of the PTAS application form.           • Primary Health Facilities.
The bank details include:
• Name of the account holder

                                                                        Patient Travel Assistance Scheme 7
Patient Travel Assistance               Other PTAS Coordinators
Scheme Offices                          Devonport Community and
Royal Hobart Hospital                   Health Services Centre
Liverpool Street                        23 Steele Street
Hobart 7000                             Devonport 7310
Phone: (03) 6222 8225                   Phone: (03) 6421 7797
Fax: (03) 6222 8949
Switchboard Phone: (03) 6222 8308       West Coast District Hospital
                                        60–64 Orr Street
Launceston General Hospital             Queenstown 7467
Charles Street,                         Phone: (03) 6471 3300
Launceston 7250
Phone: (03) 6348 7249                   Rosebery Community Health Centre
Fax: (03) 6348 7964                     Murchison Highway
Switchboard Phone: (03) 6348 7111       Rosebery 7470
                                        Phone: (03) 6473 1144
North-West Regional Hospital
C/ Parkside Building                    Smithton District Hospital
Strahan Street                          74 Brittons Road
Burnie 7320                             Smithton 7330
Phone: (03) 6434 6984                   Phone: (03) 6452 4654
Fax: (03) 6434 6998
                                        King Island Hospital and Health Centre
Switchboard Phone: (03) 6430 6666
                                        31 Edward Street
                                        Currie, King Island 7256
                                        Phone: (03) 6462 9915

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