Australia: Remote South Australians who must travel to receive medical treatment are now being more consistently reimbursed by the government, thanks to an interactive, online distance calculator.
Digital mapping specialists MapData Services developed the clever calculator for SA Health’s Patient Assistance Transport Scheme (PATS), which subsidises travel, escort and accommodation costs when patients travel more than 100 kilometres to see a health specialist.
PATS Manager Rae Winter said the calculator, which is embedded into SA Health’s PATS website, had contributed to making the scheme more efficient, with eligible patients across country South Australia now receiving their payments eight times faster.
“The calculator makes the system more effective by having one tool used by all patients, health services providers and SA Health staff to determine PATS payments,” Winter said.
“With the user-friendly interface, users simply enter their start and end destinations in the calculator and click ‘Check Eligibility’.
“The calculator draws on cutting-edge mapping data and technology to immediately display the travel distance from patients’ homes to their health specialist, as well as whether they are eligible for PATS and their exact payment amount.
“It provides clear, unambiguous determinations for patients so they can make informed choices about their health needs.
“And because our staff use the same calculator to assess each application, the potential for misunderstandings or inaccurate quotes and distance calculations is removed.”
MDS General Manager Cassandra Barker said the calculator leverages South Australia’s most accurate road network data to take the guesswork out of the reimbursement process.
The PATS calculator is updated regularly with the most current and accurate road network data available – which is very important when ensuring users are being reimbursed the correct amount.