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SWEP Communique - Orthotics Update March 2020

17 March 2020

Dear AT Practitioner

This communique includes information for you about:

  • What can be funded by the Victorian Aids & Equipment Program (VA&EP)
  • Clarification about fitting and shipping charges
  • Use of the SWEP quotation template
  • Changes to inclusion of AOPA registration number on quotation template (where relevant) 'Grandfather' clause for applications received prior to January 1, 2020.

This communique follows on from the information we provided to you in late November 2019. We
received valuable feedback at that time and wish to provide some further updates. We hope this makes
it clearer to understand what you can apply for and who is eligible for assistance through VA&EP. SWEP
is committed to providing equitable access to eligible Victorians across all equipment categories and
these changes have been made accordingly.

The changes implemented as of January 1, 2020 include:
1. VA&EP will only cover orthoses costs associated with the actual manufacture of the device, including
for example material costs, casting/measuring/scanning and fabrication.
2. A once off 'fitting' charge can be included where the supplier schedules an appointment for fitting
and adjusting the device to the consumer. This fee should be itemised on the quotation and the
maximum subsidy available for the once off 'fitting' is $75.00.
3. Where 'shipping' costs apply to have the device delivered from the nominated supplier to the
consumer's home, these delivery costs can be itemised on the quote and funding towards this
additional cost will be considered over and above the applicable subsidy for this item. Where
shipping costs apply, fitting charges will not.

Costings associated with fitting and shipping will be closely monitored given the level of demand the
program already experiences, along with any budgetary consequences that impact on wait times. SWEP
may ask you to clarify charges for shipping costs should they exceed the norm.

In the future, we will be reviewing our capacity to subsidise shipping and fitting charges across all
Assistive Technology (AT) categories of equipment. SWEP will release further communiques once this
review has been completed.

Subsidy update
There is now a separate subsidy amount that will apply for 'shoe modifications' and 'extra depth/width
shoes' of $200 per pair.

The subsidy of $450 for custom made shoes remains unchanged.

The timeframes for replacement remain unchanged.

Quotations
We note it is not mandatory to use the SWEP quotation template. Should you wish to use your own
quotation template rather than the SWEP template, you can do so as long as you include all of the
required information.

Some practitioners are using a quotation template that includes getting consumers to sign off on 'gap
contributions' prior to submission of applications. Thank you for this initiative, however we do note this
may raise a potential risk or confusion associated with an AT Practitioner quoting incorrect gap
contributions where SWEP has not been previously consulted. (This may occur if a consumer has already
accessed partial subsidy towards the same item category).

Quotes for NDIS participants
SWEP would prefer that you do not use the SWEP quotation template for NDIS participants. The use of
our template for that program is causing confusion for some Agency Planners, who are sending authority
to supply back to SWEP on the assumption that SWEP has managed the initial application.

AOPA registration details
We have been asked to clarify why you no longer need to include your AOPA registration details on the
quotation template. When you register and credential with SWEP we capture all of this mandatory
threshold information in the portal and as a result we do not require it duplicated on the quote. For
further information about registration and credentialing for Orthotists and Prosthetists go to:
https://swep.bhs.org.au/the-standard.php

It is noted that the changes above will not impact applications received by SWEP prior to March 20,
2020.

Thank you for your ongoing support and understanding in relation to these changes.


Regards

Jeni Burton - Operations Director


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