Medical Aids Subsidy Scheme (MASS) provides access to subsidy funding for the provision of MASS endorsed aids and equipment to eligible Queensland residents with permanent and stabilised conditions or disabilities. The range of MASS aids and equipment is selected to assist people to live at home and avoid premature or inappropriate residential care or hospitalisation. Aids and equipment are subsidy funded either on a permanent loan basis, private ownership or through the purchase of consumables.
Applicants seeking MASS subsidised aids and equipment will need to arrange a clinical assessment by a health care professional (prescriber) approved by MASS. The health care provider authorised to prescribe your equipment can vary depending on the aid required.
Contact your local Community Health Centre or domiciliary agency where health professionals such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, registered nurses and continence advisors are available to assist you. Together with your health care provider, you can complete an application form and forward it to MASS for consideration for subsidy funding assistance.
You may be eligible for MASS assistance if:
- You are a permanent resident of Queensland AND
- You have a permanent and stabilised condition or disability AND
- You hold one of the following cards:
- Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card
- Veterans' Affairs (DVA) Pensioner Concession Card (conditions apply)
- Centrelink Health Care Card
- Queensland Government Seniors Card
- Centrelink Confirmation of Concession Card Entitlement Form (conditions apply).
MASS considers applications for subsidy funding from prescribers who submit an application on behalf of an applicant. MASS determines the administrative and clinical eligibility of the applicant based on the information on the application form and clarification from prescriber or applicant as required.
Eligibility for subsidy funding assistance is detailed in the MASS Statewide Prescriber Procedures Manual and differs for each of the categories serviced by MASS. Refer to the back of each of the procedure sections for information on who can prescribe to MASS on behalf of an applicant.
Eligibility for spectacles is detailed in the Spectacle Supply Scheme (SSS) Guidelines. Applications are completed by Optometrists/Ophthalmologists in conjunction with spectacle dispensers on the Approved Dispenser List.
When received at MASS, applications are considered for administrative and clinical eligibility in accordance with the MASS Statewide Prescriber Procedures Manual. If eligible, applicants may be subject to a waiting period before receiving the aid, and may be required to contribute towards the cost of the aid.
MASS deems ownership of some types of aids to the client. These include:
- wheeled walking aids and backup manual wheelchairs
- bathboards, bathroom transfer benches and non-mobile commodes
- respiratory/postural drainage tables
This means that the owner will be responsibile for the cost of ongoing repairs and maintenance, and also be responsibile for the cost of any future modifications and accessories.
MASS retains ownership of aids and equipment when MASS has contributed more than fifty per cent towards the cost of the item. If the applicant has contributed more than fifty per cent towards the cost of the item as a co-payment, the applicant may:
- Accept or reject MASS's offer for ownership. This means that the applicant may
- Retain ownership of the item and be responsible for the cost of ongoing maintenance and repairs, or
- Agree that MASS retains ownership of the item to MASS whereby the costs of ongoing repairs (except large tyres and tubes for manual wheelchairs) will be covered by MASS
There are certain items which MASS will only consider subsidising if the applicant accepts ownership eg. voice-output communication devices.
Some types of aids provided to clients are regarded as consumables (continence aids, oxygen and spectacles).
The MASS Prescriber Procedures Manual outlines how frequently applicants can re-apply. Each of the types of aids and equipment has differing re-application periods.
It is expected that mobility and daily living aids will last five years. However, if the applicant's needs significantly change e.g. deterioration of applicant's condition or growth of a child, applications may be considered earlier.
Most types of continence aids are provided as a six month subsidy supply. To allow time for administrative processing, ensure the applicant's re-application is forwarded to MASS one month prior to the subsidy supply renewal date.
Oxygen clients are advised of their oxygen approval and expiry dates. For MASS to continue payment of the oxygen subsidy, ensure MASS receives the re-application before the end of the expiry period.
It is expected that spectacles supplied through the Spectacle Supply Scheme will last two years. However, if the applicant's eyesight significantly changes, applications may be considered earlier.
As of 2008, the administrative processes for the Spectacle Supply Scheme (SSS) will be centrally managed by MASS according to the eligibility criteria in the MASS Spectacle Supply Scheme Guidelines.
SSS provides a comprehensive range of basic prescription spectacles to eligible Queensland residents. All eligible applications to SSS will be assessed through an equitable process based on clinical need.
The Guidelines have been developed to provide quality, consistency and standardisation in the administration of SSS. In managing and administering SSS, MASS aims to provide a consistent centralised service with improved service delivery to clients and increased participation of prescribers.
Applicants must have a clinical need for spectacles based on changes to their eyesight as determined by an Optometrist/Opthalmologist.
Information for Applicants
Useful information for prescribers with regards procedures and forms can be found on the webpage Types of Aids & Equipment.
Information for Prescribers
Useful information with regards SOA products, procedures and forms can be found on the webpage Prescribing Medical Aids and Equipment.
Resources and Education
Information for prescribers and clients is available in Prescribing medical aids and equipment, which lists daily living aids(bathroom, toilet, mattresses and positioning systems), medical grade footwear, mobility aids, orthoses, home oxygen, spectacles and artificial limbs.
Queensland Health Links