Treatments and services
Will the TAC provide an extension for a client’s certificate of capacity?
Yes, we may provide a brief extension to the due date of a client’s certificate of capacity based on their individual circumstances. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis and clients should contact us to discuss their situation.
As per our current policy, we may consider paying LOE or LOEC payments without a certificate of capacity in exceptional circumstances, or where there is verbal confirmation from a treating doctor, followed up with a certificate of capacity.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the TAC will fund temporary telehealth items for services provided by medical specialists, such as GPs, consulting physicians and psychiatrists. Payment will be made at the MBS rate.
Will the TAC extend treatment or service approvals because of COVID-19?
As is our current practice for all TAC funded treatment and services, we will consider requests to extend a treatment or service approval based on a client's individual circumstances.
If you believe a client will require a reasonable extension to their current approval period, the client or their provider should contact us to discuss their needs.
What if I need to reduce my service capacity?
All providers are encouraged to review their business continuity and contingency plans to ensure they can deliver critical support and services for TAC clients whilst limiting their risk of exposure to COVID-19.
The TAC recognises and supports providers’ need to potentially reduce community access and some face to face contacts whilst ensuring continuity of critical service and support needs, and staff health, safety and availability.
Providers should communicate regularly with clients regarding any changes to regular services and explain the reasons for this change.
Please contact the TAC if you have reduced service capacity that you feel will negatively impact on the client’s health and safety.
What is the TAC’s position on elective surgery in relation to COVID-19?
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, health services have experienced a strain on resources which have impacted elective surgeries. Treating physicians and surgeons are responsible for deciding what they consider to be urgent and appropriate for their patient. They should use the following guidelines when making decisions:
- The risk and benefits to hospital resources and of patients contracting or transmitting COVID-19. Factors such as age, medical comorbidities (diabetes, obesity and smoking, cardio-respiratory function), immune status and opioid consumption should be taken into account. A fully informed consent process must be completed.
- Shared decision-making processes should be used when considering each individual case. The distinction between urgent and non-urgent Category 2 surgery may not always be simple. If there continues to be uncertainty, surgery should be postponed
- Consider if the procedure will avoid dangerous deterioration of function, both physically and emotionally, or repeated emergency department or hospital admissions. Deterioration of physical function might include severe restriction of activities of daily living to the extent that the patient could not manage their symptoms for a further 3 to 6 months.
The treating physicians and surgeons, and the hospital providing the treatment, are responsible for adhering to the government regulations and informing their patient about the status of their surgical procedure.
Will the TAC fund health provider home visits to TAC clients?
The TAC will consider requests to fund home visits if a TAC client needs to access essential health services, but is isolating themselves at home on advice from a medical practitioner, or they are a patient in a vulnerable group*.
As is our current practice for all TAC funded treatment and services, the need for a home visit must:
- relate to the TAC client’s transport accident injuries
- be reasonable, according to the Transport Accident Act, 1986
- be clinically justified and outcome focussed.
*Vulnerable groups are people aged over 70, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over 50, people with chronic health conditions or those who are immunocompromised
Will the TAC pay for face masks, rapid antigen tests, thermometers, rubber gloves or hand disinfectants?
The TAC is only able to fund items directly related to the client's transport accident. This does not include items such as face masks, rapid antigen tests, thermometers, rubber gloves or hand disinfectants.
For most health providers, items such as rubber gloves and hand disinfectants belong to consumables that should be provided as part of usual service to help control the spread of any infections. See our Equipment guidelines. For attendant care agencies and accommodation facilities, these items are expected to be provided as part of the provider's Occupational Health and Safety requirements as part of regular infection control practice.
For information on face masks, please refer to the Victorian Government website.
For information on rapid antigen tests, please refer to the Department of Health and Aged Care website.
Will the TAC pay for the delivery of pharmacy items?
The TAC can pay for medication to be delivered to a client’s home if the client is unable to attend a pharmacy due to their transport accident injuries.
If a client is cannot visit a pharmacy because they are self-isolating due to COVID-19, they should consider home delivery options through local pharmacies or the government's Home Medicines Service.
What happens if a TAC client cancels an appointment because of COVID-19?
There is no provision in our legislation to pay for services that aren’t provided. This includes appointments cancelled due to COVID-19.
You can find this information under what we cannot pay for.
Please see your relevant provider guideline for more information about what the TAC can and can’t pay for.
Will the TAC pay for providers to participate in client planning meetings via teleconference or phone conferencing?
Yes. The TAC will continue to pay for providers to participate in client planning meetings/conversations taking place by teleconferencing or phone conferencing. This is not considered a telehealth service.
Will the TAC fund attendant care agencies overtime costs when a client requests one worker?
No, the payment of overtime is a provider management responsibility and decision. Providers should take into account staff OH&S arranging staff overtime.
Will the TAC pay for my agency to do online community group programs or online community access planning during the pandemic?
No. Our community group program guidelines state that community group programs must be delivered in community-based facilities. Community access planning comes under the same policy and legislation.
If a TAC client would like to attend an online community group program they can do so at their own cost, similar to the client being responsible for paying for their own movie ticket when attending a community group program face to face.
If you have concerns about a client being increasingly isolated because of COVID-19 you should ensure the client has access to the right professionals by working with the client and claims manager. It is also important to discuss alternative support options with the client (e.g. family and friends). If you have concerns about a client’s safety due to isolation resulting from the pandemic you should discuss this with the client and their assigned TAC claims manager.
What is the TAC’s position on Independent Medical Examinations and Joint Medical Examinations during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Where medico-legal examiners are conducting any pre-examination vaccination status checks or COVID Safety procedures to enable a client to attend in person, the TAC has asked examiners to undertake all communication to the client at least 5 days prior to the appointment date. This will provide the client with as much notice as possible with respect to any specific requirements. The TAC does not hold the vaccination status of clients and it is the responsibility of the examiner to contact and follow up directly with the client or their legal representative.
The TAC continues to be supportive of clients and examiners expressing their preference to participate in a medico-legal examination via video-conference (where it is appropriate and reasonable to do so), in place of attending in person.
The TAC’s expectation is that all medico-legal examiners will operate in accordance with the COVIDSafe Principles for Business and have compliant COVIDSafe plans.
The TAC remains committed to delivering client entitlements throughout this time and will work with examiners and clients to facilitate this.