Dietitian

Policy

The TAC can pay the reasonable cost of dietitian services required as a result of transport accident injuries when provided by a qualified and accredited dietitian.

Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s.3 'rehabilitation service', s.23 and s.60

Background

The TAC has developed the Clinical Framework for the Delivery of Health Services (Clinical Framework) to set out key principles for delivery of services to clients.

The Clinical Framework is based on the following principles:

  • Measurement and demonstration of the effectiveness of treatment
  • Adoption of a biopsychosocial approach
  • Empowering the client to manage their injury
  • Implementing goals focused on optimising function, participation and/or return to work/health
  • Base treatment on best available research evidence.

The TAC expects that all health professionals providing services to clients integrate the principles of the Clinical Framework into their daily practice.

Further information about the Clinical Framework can be found at www.tac.vic.gov.au

Definition

In this policy, a dietitian refers to a qualified and accredited health care professional who provides dietitian services.

Guidelines

Who can provide dietitian services?

Dietitian services can be provided by a dietitian whose qualifications satisfy the TAC and industry standards. Refer to the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA).

What dietitian services can the TAC pay for?

The TAC can pay for the reasonable cost of a dietitian service where:

  • it is requested by the client's treating medical practitioner to assist a client to independently manage an appropriate dietary intake
  • it is part of a client's overall rehabilitation program that is related to a client's transport accident injuries.

Fees for dietitian services performed within a private practice will be based on the TAC fee schedule for Dietitian services.

Fees for dietitian services performed within a public hospital will be based on the Department of Health schedule of fees and charges for acute health services in Victoria.

Does the TAC require prior approval to pay for dietitian services?

The TAC can only pay for dietitian services it has approved in writing prior to the service being provided.

Transport Accident Act 1986 reference:  s.23(2)

Can the TAC pay for a report by a dietitian?

Reports will only be funded when requested by the TAC.

Can the TAC pay for a dietitian to travel?

The TAC can pay the reasonable cost of travel time in circumstances where:

  • prior written approval has been provided by the TAC
  • a medical practitioner has confirmed that the client is medically unfit to travel to the dietitian due to transport accident injuries
  • clinical justification is provided by the treating therapist justifying that treatment should be delivered in a community setting, for example in the home, school or at the client's place of work
  • the dietitian providing the treatment is the most appropriate according to geographic location of the client and the therapy specialty required
  • travel time is separately billed and is reimbursed on a time-only basis at a pro rata intervals of 15 minutes.

Refer to the Dietitians Fee Schedule for information about how to invoice travel.

Travel time can be claimed only for travel to and from the practitioner's practice address and the community setting, e.g. home, school or the client's place of work. Where more than 1 client is visited in a single travel period, total travel costs should be apportioned equally to those clients whom services have been provided.
For example: Practice rooms are in A, patient 1 in B, patient 2 in C, patient 3 in D, travelling time is as below:

PatientFromToTime
1AB45 minutes
2BC50 minutes
3CD40 minutes
Return to RoomsDA1 hour 30 minutes
  Total travelling  3 hours 45 minutes  

3 hours 45 minutes @ $92.93 (fee as of 1 July 2017) per hour = $348.49, therefore travel per patient, $348.49/3 = $116.16 and the travel time of 3 hours 45 minutes will average to 1 hour 15 minutes each.  The average travel time and the amount charged must be clearly stated on the invoice.  For the current fee, refer to the TAC fee schedule for Dietitian services.

Travel is not payable where private therapists are treating clients in a hospital location or private rooms.

Will the TAC pay for dietitian services for weight loss?

Refer to the Weight Loss Treatment and Services policy.

Can the TAC pay for nutritional supplements?

Refer to the Special Food and Special Food Formula policy.

Can the TAC pay for dietitian services performed by a member of a client's immediate family?

Refer to the Funding Treatment by a Member of a Client's Immediate Family policy.

In relation to dietitian services what will the TAC not pay for?

The TAC will not pay for:

  • services for a person other than the injured client
  • treatment for a condition that existed before a transport accident or that is not a direct result of a transport accident
  • treatment, services or equipment where there is no published evidence in a recent peer-reviewed journal article that the treatment, service or equipment is safe and effective. Refer to the Non-Established, New or Emerging Treatments and Services policy
  • treatment that is of no clear benefit to a client
  • treatment or services for a client who is a hospital in-patient. Refer to the Hospitals policy
  • weight loss programs or food/meal replacement services. For example, home delivered meal services such as Lite 'n easy or commercial weight loss programs such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig or Optifast.
  • the cost of telephone calls and telephone consultations between providers and clients and between other providers, including hospitals
  • treatment received by the injured person outside the Commonwealth of Australia
  • treatment provided more than 2 years prior to the request for funding except where the request for payment is made within 3 years of the transport accident. Refer to the Time Limit to Apply for the Payment of Medical and Like Expenses policy.

Dietitians

Effective 1 July 2017

Registered for GSTNot Registered for GST
Service DescriptionTAC Item Number2017/18
Maximum Payment
Rate
2016/17
Maximum Payment
Rate
TAC Item Number

2017/18
Maximum
Payment
Rate

2016/17
Maximum Payment

Rate
Individual treatment
Initial ConsultationD600 $58.15 $57.30   
Standard ConsultationD602 $46.53 $45.85   
Long ConsultationD604 $69.54 $68.53   
Prolonged ConsultationD606 $92.93 $91.57   
Travel (with prior approval)
TravelD630 $92.93 $91.57   
Travel time can be claimed only for travel to and from the practitioner's practice address and the TAC client's residence. Where more than one client is visited in a single travel period, total travel costs should be apportioned equally between those clients to whom services have been approved.
All travel is to be separately billed in blocks of 15 minutes.
Reports
ReportD640* $102.22 $100.73DGF640 $92.93 $91.57
When submitting an account for payment, details of the time taken to complete the report must be recorded on the account.
TravelD641* $102.22 $100.73DGF641 $92.93 $91.57
Travel claimed in relation to providing a report for management-type services such as reviews undertaken at the TAC's specific request. Travel time can be claimed only for travel to and from the practitioner's practice address and the TAC client's residence. Where more than one client is visited in a single travel period, total travel costs should be apportioned equally between those clients to whom services have been provided.  
Standard Consultation   - up to 30 minutes
Long Consultation         - >30 minutes < 45 minutes
Prolonged Consultation - >45 minutes <60 minutes

Fees for dietitian services performed within a public hospital will be based on the
Department of Human Services schedule of fees and charges for acute health services in Victoria.
Refer to www.health.vic.gov.au/feesman.

GST

*The TAC maximum fee includes a 10% allowance for GST for items which TAC believes are taxable supplies.  If you are a provider not registered for GST:

  • You are not legally permitted to charge GST
  • You should indicate on all invoices submitted your status as 'not registered for GST purposes'
  • The TAC will only reimburse you an amount which excludes the GST component for items billed where the maximum fee includes a 10% allowance for GST

If you are not registered for GST please state on all invoices the TAC item number listed for providers not registered.