PATIENT TRAVEL AND ACCOMMODATION CLAIMS TOO DIFFICULT

Patient Travel and Accommodation Claims Too Difficult

24 May 2007

Member for Lismore, Thomas George says he has been approached by many constituents concerned about the complexity of claim forms for the isolated patients travel scheme.

“The IPTAAS Scheme is supposed to offer help in travel and accommodation expenses for patients who live more than 100 km from their treating specialist,” Mr George said.

“But complicated forms and near impossible bureaucratic requirements, make successfully completing a claim very difficult. In fact, the process of claiming under the scheme is so complicated people often don’t bother.

“One constituent pointed out she had to undertake nine different processes to claim what in fact was a small amount in comparison with her actual costs.

“The nine steps were:

  1. Attend and obtain the IPTAAS form from the General Practitioner’s (GP) surgery.
  2. If privately insured, get a letter from the health insurer to say they didn’t cover travelling.
  3. Make an appointment with the GP to complete part of the form. It must be the GP, his or her staff can’t do it.
  4. Have the treating specialist complete the form.
  5. Complete the patient and escort details. Only Pensioners or Health Care Card Holders are eligible for assistance under this section even if the person helping the patient takes time off work they are not eligible for compensation unless they are a Pensioner or Health Care Card Holder.
  6. Provide receipts for petrol. A mileage reimbursement of just 12.7cents applies.
  7. Provide receipts for accommodation.
  8. Send the form to IPTAAS within six months of treatment.
  9. Note that a $40 personal contribution will be deducted.

“To make matters worse this process must be gone through every time a person gets treatment even though it might be ongoing treatment”, said Mr George.

“The Coalition was successful last year in forcing the government to reduce the distance criteria to apply to 100 km. The government incorporated IPTAAS into the Transport for Health Program but it is still a problem for residents of the Lismore electorate who are often forced to travel across the border and are in great need of assistance”, Mr George said.

Media contact Thomas George 6621 3624 or 0427 360 781

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577