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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin December 2011
9 DECEMBER 20 11 latest news DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS RELEASES NEW FEE SCHEDULE The Department of Veterans' Affairs recently released the new Fee Schedule of Dental Services for Dentists and Dental Specialists which took effect on 1 November 2011. A copy of the revised schedule can be found at the DVA website: www.dva.gov.au and follow the links to the DVA Fee Schedule. DVA has also released a revised set of Guidance Notes to accompany the Schedule which members need to refer to prior to providing treatment to eligible patients. The Guidance Notes have now been separated into two distinct parts. Part 1 provides advice relevant to all health care providers and presents information on the principles of the scheme, patient eligibility criteria, billing arrangements. Part 2 is specific to the provision of dental services. Members are strongly advised to read both parts of the Guidance Notes to ensure that you are fully aware of the conditions of providing services to patients under the DVA scheme. Copies of the new Guidance Notes can also be found on the DVA website: www.dva.gov.au and follow the links. Members' attention is also drawn to the first point in Part 2: Notes for Providers of Dental Treatment which states that: Only a dentist, dental specialist or dental prosthetist who is registered with Department of Human Services (DHS) at the time of service is eligible to provide services to entitled persons. Eithne Irving Manager, Policy and Regulation DENTAL CONDITIONS ONE OF THE LEADING FACTORS OF POTENTIALLY PREVENTABLE HOSPITALISATIONS FOR INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS The Australian Institute for Health and Welfare (AIHW)'s release of its 'Expenditure on health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2008--09' study shows that oral health problems are more prevalent amongst our Indigenous Australians compared to non-Indigenous Australians. The AIHW's study measured potentially preventable hospitalisations (PPH), which are conditions where hospitalisation is thought to have been avoidable if timely and adequate non-hospital care had been provided. The AIHW examined expenditure on PPH for Indigenous and non- Indigenous Australians to gain some insight into health cost burdens that could have been reduced through effective out- of-hospital care. In this examination the AIHW found that while the most frequent PPH for Indigenous Australians were for diabetes complications (8.5 per 1,000), dental conditions (5.4 per 1,000) were the third most common PPH for Indigenous Australians. Indigenous Australians' PPH rate due to dental conditions is almost double the rate for non-Indigenous Australians. The AIHW report shows that about $10.3 million could have been saved if improved dental care was made available to Indigenous Australians and that is why the ADA has continually made representations to government and issued policy statements with respect to the delivery of oral health care to Indigenous Australians. The ADA is a signatory to the 'Close the Gap, Indigenous Health Equality Summit, Statement of Intent' and urges that government make more investment in research, oral health promotion and access to affordable, culturally and emotionally appropriate and acceptable dental care for our Indigenous populations. The AIHW report can be found at www.aihw.gov.au Bryan Nguyen Senior Policy Officer SPC MEDICARE LOCALS At the September meeting of Federal Executive a Special Purpose Committee Medicare Locals was appointed to provide information to Executive for the purpose of assisting to formulate policy relating to the developments of the National Health Care reforms. The Committee met in a teleconference in November 2011 at which it was presented with a number of papers and opinions regarding the Federal government's Medicare Locals. Medicare Locals is a policy of the Federal government that forms part of its National Health Care reforms. Medical Locals will, in part, manage the primary care delivery of health within its prescribed geographic area giving recognition to the complexities of the health issues that exist in those areas. They will be managed by a board with a variety of skills. See also article on page 12. This is a new mechanism of primary health delivery and is developing as we speak. The Committee will continue to provide assistance as required to Federal Executive. Andrew Barnes Chairman SPC Medicare Locals
ADA News Bulletin November 2011
ADA News Bulletin February 2012