What are podiatry services?
Podiatry services include diagnosis, routine maintenance, selected soft tissue surgery, and physical therapy on your feet. Treatment may also include the prescription of medical grade footwear, footwear modifications and orthoses.
Am I eligible?
If you have a Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) Health Card/Veteran Card - All Conditions (Gold) or Totally & Permanently Incapacitated (Gold), DVA will pay for clinically required podiatry services, available through DVA arrangements.
If you have a DVA Health Card/Veteran Card - Specific Conditions (White), DVA will pay for clinically required podiatry services, available through DVA arrangements, if they are required because of an accepted war or service caused injury or disease.
If you are an allied veteran, you are eligible for clinically required treatment of war caused disabilities accepted by your country of enlistment.
How do I access this service?
You must be referred to a podiatrist who has a Medicare provider number. A referral can be issued by a general practitioner (GP). In certain circumstances, a referral may also be issued by a medical specialist, or a health professional as part of a hospital discharge.
A referral is valid for up to 12 sessions of allied health treatment or one year, whichever ends first. This ‘treatment cycle’ aims to promote quality clinical care so that you have the best possible prospects for living a healthy life.
At the end of a treatment cycle, your podiatrist will send a report to your usual GP. Your GP will use this report to review your progress and assess if further podiatry treatment is clinically required, or whether other treatment options are needed. Your GP will provide a new referral to the podiatrist, if it is needed.
What happens when I visit the podiatrist?
Please check with your podiatrist prior to your consultation or receiving treatment that the podiatrist accepts DVA Health Card/Veteran Card arrangements, and present your Gold or White Health Card at the beginning of a consultation or before you receive treatment.
The podiatrist will assess your clinical needs for podiatry services, prepare a written care plan for the period of care required, and discuss it with you.
If you require medical grade footwear, this will be provided through DVA's Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP). Your podiatrist will make an application to RAP on your behalf if they prescribe medical grade footwear.
Are there limits to the number of services I can receive?
Yes, your podiatrist will determine the type, number and frequency of services you require according to your assessed clinical need. As from July 2019, DVA Gold Card holders are entitled to 12 Podiatry visits per year. A D904 Referral from your doctor is also required.
You should advise your treating podiatrist if another podiatrist has provided you with treatment during the previous 12 months. This will prevent your current podiatrist from experiencing difficulties in claiming payment for services provided to you.
Do I need to pay for treatment?
You should confirm prior to your appointment that the podiatrist will accept your DVA Gold or White card for full payment of their services and will bill DVA directly for any care provided to you under DVA arrangements. This will ensure you do not incur any out of pocket expenses.