On May 1st 2011 Department of Veterans' Affairs entered into a new arrangement with five national providers of mobility equipment. Prescribers now have much greater choice when making decisions with regards equipment, and with whom they will deal to provide their clients with the best service possible.
Medtech Mobility Equipment is a part of the Country Care Group, and operates in a region westward from Ipswich to far western Queensland, and from the NSW/Qld border north into the Burnett region.
Prescribers are invited to contact the staff at Medtech to discuss appropriate equipment, and arrange trials of equipment. We have provided a link to demonstrate how equipment can be ordered online through the Country Care Group. Alternatively RAP forms can be submitted through Medtech Mobility Equipment, or faxed directly to Country Care. Be sure to tick the Country Care box in the list of providers, and make reference to Medtech on the RAP form if you wish Medtech to supply the piece of equipment.
For your convenience Medtech uses the original equipment catalogue of Country Care. This is easily accessible, and navigable, on the Country Care website. Book catalogues are always available from the Medtech office in Toowoomba, or from its staff on scheduled trips throughout our region.
The Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP) assists with the health care needs of the veteran community by providing mobility aids or appliances best suited to their current assessed clinical need. Aids and equipment should be designed for persons with an illness or disability, and not widely used by persons without an illness or disability. RAP is unable to provide equipment as replacement for old or worn household furniture or appliances, seating, beds or mattresses.
A few examples of aids or appliances that can be prescribed within the program include: wheeled walkers, beds (hospital) , chairs (high back, lift), lifting hoists and showering or toileting aids.
Some aids or appliances can be prescribed by a suitably qualified allied health professional without seeking DVA approval. Examples of allied health professionals include, Occupational Therapists (OT), Physiotherapists, or Speech Pathologists (Speech Therapist).
Your Local Medical Officer (GP) can provide the necessary referral (D904) to the most appropriate allied health professional who can assess your current clinical need for RAP aids and appliances, offer advice and make requests in writing to DVA.
Residential Aged Care (RACF) / nursing homes /aged care homes are required to provide their residents, including veterans, war widows and war widowers, with rehabilitation aids or equipment to meet each resident's needs.
DVA may supply certain items to veterans, war widows and war widowers receiving aged care where eligibility criteria are met. These include aids which are required to be customised such as low vision aids, or â€œpersonal itemsâ€ like compressions stockings and medical grade footwear. These will need to be prescribed by a suitably qualified health professional.
Continence products (adult diapers), can be considered for DVA beneficiaries in low care only. High care residents are provided their products under the funding scheme managed by the RACF.
If you are looking to enter aged or supported care and if DVA has already supplied RAP equipment such as an armchair, walking frame, you may be able to take it with you subject to the agreement of the facility. It is important to discuss this with facility management before entry.
DVA Aged Care equipment includes:
- Bedding/mattresses/suitable and appropriate pressure relieving mattresses;
- Equipment to aid mobility e.g. wheelchairs and walking frames;
- Seating / Arm chairs;
- Shower chairs; and
- Oxygen therapy and equipment.
Information for Providers about the Rehabilitation Appliances Program
This Factsheet outlines the process for accessing aids and appliances under the Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP), and describes the range of aids and appliances available.
What is RAP?
RAP assists eligible persons to be as independent and self-reliant as possible in their own homes. The provision of aids and appliances is intended to minimise the impact of disabilities and maximise quality of life and independence.
RAP provides aids and appliances according to assessed clinical need. Eligible persons are assessed by an appropriately qualified health professional, usually an occupational therapist, GP, physiotherapist or registered nurse. Where appropriate, the health professional will also provide instruction in the use of the aid/appliance.
Items issued under RAP are generally designed specifically for people with an illness or disability.
Who is eligible?
Gold Card holders are eligible to receive aids and appliances subject to assessed clinical need.
White Card holders are eligible to receive aids and appliances subject to assessed clinical need in relation either to a disability accepted by DVA as service-related, and/or cancer, tuberculosis, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, whether or not these conditions are accepted by DVA as service-related.
Veterans from allied countries are eligible for aids and appliances only in relation to accepted disabilities.
Where an aid or appliance is assessed as clinically necessary the assessing health professional must complete a Direct Order Form and forward it to a DVA-contracted supplier who will then fill the order.
The RAP National Schedule of Equipment appears on DVA's website at:
The Schedule lists available aids and appliances by alpha-numeric classification, and includes information relating to quantity and duration of supply, financial limits, and which health providers may assess for individual items. Aids and appliances fall into five categories:
- continence (eg pads, catheters)
- diabetes (eg insulin syringes, blood glucose monitors)
- oxygen (eg cylinders, nebulisers) and continuous positive airways pressure therapy (CPAP machines)
- mobility and function support (eg wheelchairs, walking frames, handrails); and
- personal response systems.
As a general rule, the simplest and most-cost-effective item will be provided. Certain items also require prior approval from DVA before supply can be initiated.
One-off requests for non-Schedule items may be considered where an assessed clinical need cannot be adequately addressed by any current Schedule item. The assessing health professional must send a written request detailing why the item is required to:
The Manager RAP & HomeFront Operations
Department of Veterans' Affairs
GPO Box 9998 in your capital city.
Repairs and replacements
DVA will cover the cost of repairs and replacements of an aid or appliance if:
- it was lost, or damaged by normal wear and tear; or
- the health provider treating the entitled person considers a replacement is required because the entitled person's clinical condition has changed.
RAP and Residential Aged Care
Entitled persons receiving high level care in an Australian Government funded residential aged care facility (RACF) are not generally provided with RAP aids and appliances. DVA does, however, routinely provide a range of items to entitled persons in low-level care. These may include custom made wheelchairs, continence products, low vision aids, compression stockings and medical grade footwear.
When an entitled person moves from low-level care to high-level care, RAP items previously issued may be taken with them subject to the approval of the RACF. DVA will maintain responsibility for the repair, maintenance and replacement of such items.
Entitled persons receiving Extended Aged Care at Home (EACH) services or Community Aged Care Packages (CACP) are able to access RAP items where the service provider is not legally required to supply them.
Further information is available by calling the Aged Care Hotline on 1800 500 853.