Learn how to get properly remunerated for veteran care

5 minute read

The DVA is going digital with app-based white and gold cards and a new e-learning platform for GPs that should help doctors get properly paid for their time.

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs has commissioned a CPD-accredited e-learning platform for doctors and is taking gold and white cards to the apps. 

Medcast’s new VET HeLP platform, commissioned by the DVA, provides education and interactive services on veteran care for health professionals. 

Much of the site’s content – including podcasts, case scenarios, webinars and audits – is CPD-accredited by both the RACGP and ACRRM. 

Speaking to The Medical Republic, RACGP vice president and veteran of the Royal Australian Air Force Associate Professor Michael Clements said he was pleased to see that the platform would focus on “very practical” information on billing, compensation issues and entitlement, as well as clinical care. 

“There’s been plenty of work published on mental health, physical stresses or issues that come from war-like injuries,” said Professor Clements. 

“But as a GP, and as a veteran myself, I’m often asked by many colleagues for information around the billings and compensation paperwork and process.  

“What excites me about this package is that it is looking to address that gap.  

“It looks like a really good, well rounded offering.” 

Professor Clements said GPs choosing to use the platform would see a return on their investment. 

“I frequently hear other GPs talk about remuneration for caring for complex veterans and many just don’t understand the options,” he said. 

“If [GPs] use their CPD time to learn about [veteran care] – not just the healthcare issues but also about the paperwork, processes and compensation issues – they’re going to get a return on their investment, because they’ll learn how they can be paid appropriately for the work that they’re already doing.   

“I expect many GPs who undertake this training will find that they’ve been missing out on opportunities to invoice the DVA for some of the important work that they’ve been doing.” 

Professor Clements said he hoped that Medcast could provide “easy to digest” education and support for GPs tackling this often complex area. 

According to GP supervisor and medical director of Medcast Associate Professor Stephen Barnett, the platform aims to help doctors: 

  • understand the unique physical and mental health challenges faced by veterans in the context of their military experience and transition to civilian life; 
  • recognise and manage their distinctive health problems; 
  • identify DVA services for referring veterans and their families, and; 
  • navigate the complexities of the DVA claims process, including the requirements for medical information and reporting. 

“On VETs HeLP, you’ll learn best practices for conducting sensitive and effective patient interviews, building rapport with veterans, and creating tailored treatment plans,” he said

“Our facilitators and content experts with experience in veteran healthcare will guide you through authentic case studies and interactive sessions to deepen your understanding of the unique needs and challenges faced by veterans and their families.” 

A spokesperson for the DVA told TMR that the platform aims to provide GPs – who currently provide almost 600,000 serving and ex-serving members of the defense force with healthcare – with training that is “relevant, accessible and achievable within a busy practice schedule”. 

“While many GPs see a lot of veterans and families, others see only a small number and may have limited knowledge of specific health issues related to military service, compensation claims and services available from the DVA,” they said. 

“DVA aims to improve the veteran experience in accessing health care through the education of GPs, other non-GP specialists and allied health professionals resulting in a better understanding of the DVA supports available and the requirements for accessing them.” 

Professor Clements encouraged all GPs to engage with the platform. 

“I’d certainly encourage GPs that do see veterans regularly to do the training, and even if they don’t think that they do see very many veterans, because there are a lot of misconceptions,” he said. 

“It’s important that as many people as possible so the training, just to understand the breadth of the kinds of health needs of veterans as they’re not all in distress.” 

The first CPD-accredited VET HeLP webinar on “understanding our veterans’ healthcare” will be held 10 July at 7pm AEDT. 

Webinars on claims and billing are scheduled for later in the year, as is the release of more information on funding veteran healthcare and veterans’ health services. 

And it seems the DVA is on a digital rampage. 

Veteran gold and white card holders can now access their cards through the myGov app. 

MyService can also now be easily accessed through the myGov app to submit claims, view claim progress, apply for treatment and more. 

The DVA spokesperson said that having white and gold cards and MyService accessible through myGov should help GPs confirm DVA funding for patients, provide a central location for documents and help veterans on the go. 

Professor Clements welcomed the digitisation and the government’s focus on supporting veterans.  

“It feels like DVA are finally catching up to the current year in terms of technology,” he said. 

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