What is PATS?
The Patient Assistance Transport Scheme (PATS) is a subsidy program that provides money to pay for some travel, escort and accommodation costs when rural and remote South Australians travel over 100 kilometers each way to see a specialist.
You are eligible to make a PATS application if you live more than 100 kilometers away from the nearest treating specialist, your treatment is claimable under Medicare and if you have claimed any available benefits from your private health fund first (if applicable). You do not need to visit your local doctor to make an application, but you must ensure there is no medical specialist service available closer to home.
Accommodation costs, as well as travel may also be covered. Specific details of what is included can be found on the PATS website. In 2014, a review of the scheme indicated that the information available was lacking in detail to be clear and consistent. From 1 July 2016, you will therefore also see some clarifications to the PATS Guidelines for Assessment (PDF 744KB) (opens in a new window). The clarifications to the eligibility criteria have been widely consulted on through working groups, including consumers and clinicians across country SA. Key items included in these clarifications from 1 July 2016 confirm:
Where air travel is needed, the medical specialist can authorise this.
There is no requirement for pre-air approvals.
The criteria for air travel for those with mobility impairment are clearly defined.
You have six (6) months to submit your application after the date of the specialist visit.
Travel only may be paid if you extend your visit by up to 3 extra days for personal reasons.
The criteria for receiving subsidy when ‘bypassing’ the nearest specialist is clearly defined.
Interstate referrals are only eligible for accommodation subsidies, when the patient is sent
by an SA Health facility that pays the travel.
Reformatted to conform with website theme.
Posted: by staff member.
Tags” PATS, Govt Subsidy, Health,
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