What is the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme (PTSS)?
The Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme (PTSS) provides financial assistance to help patients get specialist treatment when the treatment is not available at their local hospital or health facility.
What are the principles for administering PTSS?
Where a specific situation is not covered in PTSS policy, the following principles will be used to guide decisions:
- patient safety—the safety of patients is a key consideration, including ensuring clinically appropriate patient travel,
- access—the scheme supports patient access to specialist health services,
- subsidy—the scheme does not cover the full costs associated with travel and accommodation,
- value for money—the scheme promotes the efficient use of public resources.
Is PTSS means tested?
No, the PTSS is available to all eligible patients. Patients who do not have a recognised concession card must pay for the first four nights of accommodation in each financial year before they are eligible for the accommodation subsidy.
What subsidies are available through PTSS?
Travel and accommodation subsidies are available for eligible patients and approved escorts.
The PTSS is not intended to cover the full costs associated with accessing specialist medical services. Extra costs to patients may include parking, tolls, taxis, airport transfers and meals.
Why is GST not included in the subsidy payment when the patient pays for travel or accommodation?
GST is a tax on supplies for goods, services and other items received or purchased. When a registered business, such as Queensland Health, pays an expense that includes GST in the price, Queensland health can only claim the GST from the tax office if they are the recipients of the supply. When Queensland Health books and pays the accommodation, the supply is being made to them and so the GST can be claimed from the tax office.
When the patient books their own accommodation and pays GST, the supply of the accommodation is being made to the patient. They are paying the GST and, not being registered, cannot claim the GST from the tax office.
As Queensland Health is unable to claim the GST paid by the patient when making their booking, the decision has been made not to reimburse GST in subsidy payments.
How are patients assessed for PTSS eligibility?
The patient’s local hospital or health facility will assess PTSS applications against the policy to decide eligibility.
The information provided by the patient and the clinician, will be used to decide what subsidies the patient is eligible for.
Are PTSS subsidy payments capped at a certain dollar amount per person or per year?
No. There are no limits to PTSS subsidy payments. Eligible patients will receive PTSS subsidies as per PTSS policy for as long as medically needed.
Patients undergoing long-term treatment may be asked to give updated specialist referrals.
Are patients able to receive financial help from other sources as well as PTSS?
Patients who are eligible for PTSS, as well as financial help from other sources, such as Department of Veterans’ Affairs, WorkCover or third-party insurance, may still be eligible for PTSS. Partial payment of the PTSS subsidy may be approved if the alternative financial help does not include travel or accommodation costs of if the amount is less than the amount the patient would have received in PTSS subsidies.
Patients must declare any help from other sources during the application process. Patients who have received PTSS subsidy payments and subsequently receive payment from another source may, at the discretion of their local hospital or health facility, be required to repay all or part of any paid PTSS subsidies.