DVA is seeking to identify a more efficient and effective way to gather medical evidence, in order to facilitate the timely determination of compensation and rehabilitation claims.
DVA intends to approach the market through the release of a Request for Tender (RFT) in the fourth quarter of 2019.
The RFT seeks to establish a Managing Contractor to coordinate the gathering of medical evidence and the provision of medical assessments of veterans throughout Australia.
This includes veterans who reside in regional and remote areas.
DVA legislation – the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA); the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA); and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) – requires evidence-based decision making.
Medical evidence enables DVA to establish veteran diagnoses, to assess the degree of incapacity or impairment resulting from the condition, and in some cases, to establish links to a veteran’s Australian Defence Force service.
This, in turn, determines whether liability exists, and whether a claim for compensation or rehabilitation is able to be approved.
DVA’s current claim process is to ascertain if the veteran’s claim form is sufficient to determine liability.
If not, DVA will refer to the medical evidence on file, including the veteran’s service records.
If this data is still not sufficient to determine a claim, DVA will seek further medical evidence from Defence, the veteran, and/or the veteran’s treating general practitioner or specialist.
In some circumstances, where insufficient evidence is available from the above mentioned sources, DVA may need to approach a medico-legal provider for an assessment and report.
This may occur if:
- The veteran does not have a treating doctor, or where there is insufficient or conflicting information;
- The treating doctor cannot or will not provide the required evidence or cannot provide it in a timely manner;
- A subsequent report still does not meet the diagnostic criteria; or
- A report is deficient in some aspect and a report from a further medical professional is required for the purpose specified in the referral.
To assist DVA in developing the RFT documentation, they encourage tenders from suitable organisations who have the capacity to deliver the Veterans’ Medical Evidence Gathering Services to complete a survey – see www.tenders.gov.au