Lymphoedema Compression Garments Subsidy Scheme

Medical grade compression garments help people who have lymphoedema to manage their condition and to reduce the development of associated complications.

In July 2020, SA Health established a Lymphoedema Compression Garment Subsidy Scheme (the Scheme) for eligible South Australians to be provided with up to two garments for each affected body part, free of charge. Most garments require replacement after six months wear.

Medical grade compression garments will provide the best results if they are prescribed and measured accurately for each person, manufactured from high quality materials, and then worn and cared for as recommended by the manufacturers

Eligibility

An FAQ about eligibility criteria, exclusions and inclusions (PDF 170KB) is available

Subsidised medical grade compression garments can only be provided through the Lymphoedema Compression Garment Subsidy Scheme to people who meet all of the eligibility criteria.

Accessing the scheme

Eligible people must be assessed by an Approved Prescriber, who will then place an order with the Scheme for the appropriate garments,

Approved Prescribers are physiotherapists, occupational therapists and nurses (for example McGrath Breast Care Nurses) who work in lymphoedema or related services.

Talk with your treating clinician about how you can access the scheme. Implementation of the Scheme is not intended to change existing pathways or clinical relationships. Where possible, clients should seek services via existing clinical relationships, in the LHN closest to their residency or via a private provider of their choice.

  • Public patients can access the Scheme by contacting the relevant Local Health Network (see Related Information below)
  • All country Local Health Networks require referral using the Country Health Connect referral form.
  • Private patients can access the Scheme by contacting a private practitioner who is an Approved Prescriber (PDF 183KB).

Note that Private Approved Prescribers will;

  • Require confirmation from a medical practitioner of the diagnosis of primary or secondary lymphedema.
  • provide information about any costs associated with their assessment and treatment. This includes using entitlements available through private health insurance, and the Scheme.
  • please note that patients with private health insurance can access the Scheme through public health services or through the approved private prescribers.

Information for health practitioners

Information for health professionals about lymphoedema and treatment options, including compression garments can be accessed through Health Pathways. Health Pathways is a partnership between SA Health, Adelaide Primary Health Network, and Country SA Primary Health Network

The Australasian Lymphology Association has information resources.

How the Scheme works

Orders can only be submitted by approved prescribers who have assessed the client and verified that the person is eligible for the Scheme.

Approved prescribing clinicians can discuss with their clients the type of garment to suit their needs, and the best way to manage their condition while they wait for a garment.

Every effort will be made to ensure clients receive their garment(s) as soon as possible. Custom made garments will take longer. If a custom made garment is required, it is usual practice to order one custom made garment for trial, then an additional order made if required.

All garments will be delivered to the Approved Prescriber so that a check of the fit of the garment can be made if required.

Contact details for public lymphoedema services

Country Health Connect referral form.

Information for Approved Prescribers about the ordering process

For public Approved Prescribers

From 15 June 2021 all orders must be placed using the Lymphoedema Smart form in Oracle.

On the SA Health intranet (SA Health Intranet > Business Units > Finance & Corporate Services > Procurement and Supply Chain Management > Contracts) there is:

  • a Buyers Guide
  • Suppliers product lists

For Private Approved Prescribers

Send applications to HealthContractNotices@sa.gov.au using the LCGSS Prescription form.
Once approval is received, orders can be placed with the garment Supplier. Use the Suppliers product lists. Copies can be requested by emailing HealthContractNotices@sa.gov.au. Note that DHW is only able to pay invoices from Suppliers when notified by the prescriber that the garment has been received.

Feedback from health practitioners about the ordering process can be made by emailing HealthContractNotices@sa.gov.au.

Applying to become an approved Prescriber

Applicants must provide evidence of meeting the approved prescriber eligibility criteria.

The SA Health Credentialing and Scope of Clinical Practice System (CSCPS) database contains a list of all public and private approved prescribers in SA. There is a User Guide

From 1 July 2022, all clinicians applying for approval status will be required to be registered on the National Lymphoedema Practitioners Register (NLPR) and will need to provide evidence of their NLPR registration after this date.

Which suppliers provide garments for the Scheme?

Commencing 15 June 2021, SA Health has agreements with a panel of preferred providers for supply of ready made and custom-made garments for the Scheme.

Information is available including lists of products and each supplier’s garment measurement forms on the SA Health Intranet > Business Units > Finance & Corporate Services > Procurement and Supply Chain Management > Contracts.

How can I provide feedback about the Scheme?

We encourage patients, prescribers, suppliers and the broader community to provide feedback, complaints, compliments, suggestions and advice.

If your feedback is about the Lymphoedema Compression Garment Subsidy Scheme please contact HealthContractNotices@sa.gov.au marked ‘LCGSS feedback’

If your feedback is about the compression garment measurement/fitting or the lymphoedema service, please talk to your Approved Prescriber, or another member of your clinical care team in the first instance.

If you feel your feedback or concern has not been resolved, you can contact one of the following services:

For public

For private patients

The Lymphoedema Support Group SA Inc. provides information and support for people with lymphoedema.

Reporting incidents

A guide for public prescribers about notifying into the Safety Learning System (PDF 177KB) is available.

Private prescribers should contact HealthContractNotices@sa.gov.au marked ‘LCGSS incident’.

For more information

For more information contact HealthContractNotices@sa.gov.au.