Working with the ADF
The ADF On-base Medical Officer
The primary healthcare needs of ADF personnel start at an On-base Health Centre. ADF Personnel are treated onsite by a Medical Officer (sometimes referred to as an MO). The role of the Medical Officer is to conduct the initial consultation and decide if further treatment or referral to an Off-base health practitioner is necessary. A Medical Officer ensures all referrals are clinically appropriate and are approved by the relevant ADF delegate. Medical Officers retain responsibility of the coordination of healthcare for all personnel.
If it is established that further secondary treatment is required, the Medical Officer will contact the GHS Central Appointments Team (CAT) to schedule an appointment with a provider. The Medical Officer may also contact a provider directly to make an appointment in certain circumstances.
The Medical Officer is a provider’s contact point for the exchange of ADF personnel health information, approval of on-referrals and further treatment.
Communication between the ADF Health Centre and providers
ADF On-base Medical Officers, health practitioners and Health Centre staff are reliant on timely access to health reporting and information. In order to ensure effective clinical management of the on-going health needs of ADF personnel it is crucial this documentation is communicated quickly and accurately by Off-base medical providers. This essential information also offers historical evidence of the health and preparedness of personnel for military operations.
Read further about submitting written Health Reports.
A provider must always contact the referring On-base Medical Officer to request:
- Additional treatment plan appointments, where there is a requirement to recommend a course of management that goes beyond the scope of what was requested on the initial referral.
- Restricted services.
- If in any doubt always refer back to the ADF On-base Medical Officer for advice.
The Referral Form
ADF personnel will bring a Referral Form with them to a consultation. The Referral Form will be completed by the referring ADF On-base Medical Officer and serves as approval for a provider to proceed with the consultation. The referral form is specifically called a PM528 External Provider Request Form.
The form includes two essential numbers:
EP ID number
The EP ID (Entitled Personnel employee ID) number is the standard identifier for all ADF personnel. This always appears on the PM528 External Provider Request Form that is provided by the ADF On-base Health Centre. It is also known as a PMKeys number. The EP ID is generally seven digits starting with an eight, for example: 8564729.
This number must appear on all invoices. It is highly preferable that it is also included on all written Health Reports. ADF On-base Health Centre staff use this number as the primary reference point and identifier when retrieving written Health Reports to transfer to ADF medical records.
The DAN (Defence Approval Number) is pre-approval that ADF personnel are eligible to receive a health service. It is also authorisation for GHS to pay an invoice on behalf of the ADF. This number must appear on all invoices. The DAN is generally six digits, however in some cases it may include a prefix followed by six digits.
In emergency situations a DAN may not be available. In these circumstances please ensure that ‘No DAN provided’ is clearly stipulated on the invoice.
The only time ADF personnel will arrive for treatment without a Referral Form is in the case of an emergency. In clinically urgent circumstances additional ADF approval or direction can be sought via a phone call to the referring ADF On-base Health Centre or relevant regional headquarters. However, attempts to gain additional approval should not impede the clinical priority to treat the patient.
Adhering to ADF policy
The ADF has set guidelines to assist the GHS Provider Network to adhere to ADF policy to ensure appropriate treatment is provided to ADF personnel.
A basic step-by-step guide
- An ADF personnel requires primary healthcare treatment and goes to an ADF On-base Health Centre
- The personnel is treated onsite by an ADF Medical Officer
- The personnel requires secondary offsite treatment
- The Medical Officer refers personnel to a medical service Off-base
- The ADF On-base Health Centre sends a Referral Form to the CAT
- The CAT makes an appointment with an appropriate provider
- The CAT advises personnel of appointment details
- The personnel attends appointment and receives treatment by a provider
- The provider supplies written health report to referring Medical Officer
- The provider invoices Garrison Health Services
- Garrison Health Services pays the provider.
Please note there are many pathways of medical care - this is a very simplified process and an example only.
Read further about the GHS invoicing checklist.