IPTAAS funding boost for stays in not-for-profit accommodation
The NSW Government will significantly boost funding for more patients who need to travel long distances to access specialist medical treatment.
Health Minister Jillian Skinner and Parliamentary Secretary for Regional and Rural Health Sarah Mitchell today announced that from 1 February 2016 higher Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS) rebates will be available for patients staying in not-for-profit accommodation.
Mrs Skinner said an investment of $2.7 million per year will increase the existing not-for-profit accommodation subsidies by more than 40 per cent.
“IPTAAS reforms that came into effect in September helped patients who are most out of pocket due to long stays in for-profit commercial accommodation,” Mrs Skinner said.
“Following extensive consultation with the not-for-profit sector, today’s funding boost will assist patients staying in not-for-profit accommodation for longer periods.”
Mrs Mitchell said IPTAAS helps in a number of ways, primarily through paying accommodation and fuel subsidies to patients to help cover their costs.
“Most of these patients live in regional areas and are eligible if they travel at least 100km one way, or a cumulative weekly distance of at least 200km,” Mrs Mitchell said.
“Not-for-profits provide more than accommodation - they support patients through their treatment program in a home-like environment.”
The increased subsidy rate for patients staying in not-for-profit accommodation will increase to $65 a night for single rooms and $85 a night for double rooms for stays of eight nights or more per financial year. The first seven nights will remain at $43 for a single room and $60 per night for a double room.
The NSW Ministry of Health will commission an external review of the IPTAAS reforms for people staying at commercial and not-for-profit accommodation.
The review will evaluate the impact of the reforms to ensure they are working to reduce disadvantage for rural and regional patients who need to travel to access specialist health care.