On-call service - Information for clients

If you have claimed the On-call service before and would like more information, please see the On-call service policy.

What is the On-call service?

The On-call service is remote 24-hour monitoring in case you need assistance with emergency services, non-emergency medical care or personal care needs.

You are provided with a pendant or device which triggers a phone call to a monitoring service. The monitoring service then calls you to assess what support you need. The monitoring service will then contact emergency services, your contact person or an on-call attendant care agency and someone will come to your home.

Will the TAC pay for an On-call service?

The TAC will pay an On-call service for you when:

  • You have an accepted TAC claim
  • You are receiving attendant care and only need minimal assistance at night
  • Your On-call service is for your accident-related injuries
  • You are able to operate a personal alarm and know when to use it
  • You live alone or with someone else who can't assist you.

The TAC will make decisions about paying for your On-call service in the time-frames set out in the TAC's Service Charter.

Can I choose my own On-call service provider, or will the TAC choose one for me?

  • Your doctor and occupational therapist need to send the TAC a letter that explains why you need the On-call service
  • You need the TAC's approval before you start receiving this service.
  • You can only use one of the TAC's contracted personal alarm providers. The TAC will arrange this for you.

How long will the TAC pay for my On-call service?

  • The TAC can pay for your On-call service as long as it is helping you 
  • We may ask your doctor and occupational therapist to submit reports that tell us what you need and for how long.

How the bills are paid

  • Your  monitoring service will bill the TAC directly
  • There is a limit to how much the TAC will pay for each On-call service. If your provider charges more than the TAC maximum, you will need to pay the difference. This is known as paying 'the gap'.

The TAC can pay the reasonable costs of an on-call service when required as a result of a transport accident injury under section 60 of the Transport Accident Act 1986 (the Act).

The TAC will periodically review a client's entitlement to on-call services to ensure that the services remain reasonable for the transport accident injury and are payable under the Act.

BACKGROUND 

The on-call service offers an alternative to an attendant carer providing attendant care services in a client's home. It can provide remote 24-hour monitoring of a person who may require assistance with emergency services or non-emergency medical or personal care needs. The client is provided with a pendant or device to trigger a phone call to a monitoring service, which then initiates contact with the client to assess appropriate support. Once an assessment is made, the monitoring service will then contact one or more of the following services:

(a) emergency services,
(b) the client's nominated contact person (i.e. famly/friend), and/or
(c) an on-call attendant care agency (during the day and/or night) 

A client may need an overnight on-call monitoring service to:

  • support their ability to live independently in their own home, or
  • provide for intermittent support needs.

This policy must be read in conjunction with the:

DEFINITIONS

In this policy:

  • Attendant care is a support service provided to a client at home or in the community to promote their independence and enable them to participate in all aspects of their lives, in accordance with the Attendant Care policy.
  • An attendant carer is a person who is appropriately trained and employed by an attendant care agency to provide attendant care services in a way that promotes independence and functional skills.
  • A call-out is a minimum of 2-hours of active door-to-door service paid at the personal care hourly rate.
  • A daytime on-call service is the on-call attendant care service which can be provided from the hours of 7am to 11pm, 7 days a week.
  • A keysafe refers to a safe that is mounted outside the home and can hold several keys. The safe is accessed by entering a pin or combination via a spin-dial or push-buttons
  • A medical alert device is a medical alert bracelet, pendant, vial of life and/or wallet card that a client wears or keeps, with details of their medical, supervision, and emergency instructions.
  • A monitoring service is a personal alarm and monitoring system comprising:
    • a personal alarm which can be worn as a necklace pendant, watch or belt clip. A special sensitive button or 'blow switch' can be used where a client has limited or lack of muscle coordination
    • a receiver unit and the required components that are plugged into the client's telephone line (some monitoring service allows for units that do not require a telephone line) - this allows the signal to be received from the pendant and automatically dials the monitoring centre
    • the monitoring station, which provides the 24-hour monitoring service
    • Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) Response Service - this service only applies to clients who have no nominated emergency contacts.
  • An on-call service is a remote service for clients who require a low level of care during the day and/or overnight, but do not require an attendant carer to be constantly present and/or sleep over in their home. This service comprises two components:  the monitoring service and the attendant care service. When a call is triggered the monitoring service will contact the client first to establish which of the following calls will be made to provide appropriate support:
    • contacting the client's nominated contact person (for example neighbour or family member), or
    • arrange a call-out for an attendant care service to provide personal care within a 30 minute period (such as personal hygiene), or
    • arrange for an emergency response (such as police, ambulance or fire).
  • An overnight on-call service is the on-call attendant care service which can be provided from the hours of 11pm to 7am, 7 days a week.

GUIDELINES

What can the TAC pay for in relation to an on-call service?

The TAC can pay the reasonable costs of an on-call service for a client where it is:

  • medically necessary due to a transport accident injury
  • identified as being the most appropriate and least restrictive response to a client's needs.

The TAC will consider whether the client is suitable for the on-call service overnight and/or during the day, dependant on the client's individual care requirements.

Clients may be eligible for on-call monitoring services if:

  • they have the physical and cognitive capacity to operate a personal alarm and to decide when it needs to be activated
  • they live alone or live with someone who is unable to provide assistance
  • they are not at risk of a medical emergency that may prevent them from using the service. For example, a client with epilepsy or unstable diabetes may not be suitable for a personal alarm as they may be unable to activate the alarm due to a seizure or hypoglycaemia
  • they have identified independent living as a goal
  • they receive, or request to receive attendant care services and require minimal or no assistance during the day and/or through the night
  • their need for care can be reduced with the provision of appropriate equipment. For example, a client who previously required active attendant care for turning during the night is provided with an appropriate pressure care mattress and now only requires overnight on-call attendant care for personal care.

Where a client is eligible to receive on-call services, the TAC can pay the reasonable costs of:

  • equipment provided by the on-call monitoring service in order to provide the service, such as personal alarm receivers, pendants and keysafes (including installation, delivery, transport and maintenance).
  • the monitoring station
  • the RDNS response service for clients with no nominated emergency contacts
  • on-call attendant care provided as a support response, including a call-out fee where an attendant carer is required. 

The TAC can also pay the reasonable costs of an ambulance and any hospital services required as a result of the transport accident injury when the monitoring service deems this to be the most appropriate support response.

Keys need to be made available to the nominated contacts or to the response service via a keysafe so that they can enter the home.

Who can provide the personal alarm and monitoring service?

The monitoring service can only be provided by a 24 hour call service that provides monitoring equipment and services in accordance with Australian Standard 4607-1999 Personal response systems, and is contracted by the TAC to provide this service to clients.

Who can provide on-call attendant care?

On-call attendant care in response to a monitoring service request must be provided by an attendant care agency that is contracted by the TAC to provide on-call attendant care services to clients.

What information does the TAC require to consider paying for on-call services?

For clients with a ‘severe injury’ the request and approval may form part of the independence planning process in consultation with the client’s treating occupational therapist/medical practitioner.

For all other clients the TAC requires a written request from the client's medical practitioner and assessing or treating therapist confirming that an on-call service is appropriate for the client’s transport accident injury.

In deciding whether the costs of an on-call service are reasonable, the TAC will consider:

  • the client's pre-injury functional ability
  • the estimated costs of the monitoring system
  • the level of support within the household (excluding medical alert devices).

When will the TAC respond to a request?

The TAC will respond to written treatment and service requests as set out in the TAC Service Charter.

What fees are payable for the on-call monitoring service?

Fees for the monitoring service are as per the individual monitoring service agreements.

Fees for the on call attendant care service are as per the Disability Service Agreement- 2010 (Attendant care contract).

In relation to an on-call service, what won't the TAC pay for?

The TAC will not pay for:

  • treatment or services for a person other than the client
  • fees associated with cancellation or non attendance
  • treatment or services provided outside the Commonwealth of Australia
  • treatment or services provided by telephone or other non face-to-face mediums
  • treatment or services provided more than two years prior to the request for funding except where the request for payment is made within three years of the transport accident.  Refer to the Time Limit to Apply for the Payment of Medical and Like Expenses policy.

View On-call services information sheet (general)

On-call services information sheet (general)

Summary:

Our attendant care providers support clients to achieve their independence goals in daily living activities, therapy support, personal and domestic skills retraining and community access skills.

View On-call service - Information for treating health professionals

On-call service - Information for treating health professionals

Summary:

Our attendant care providers support clients to achieve their independence goals in daily living activities, therapy support, personal and domestic skills retraining and community access skills.