HDAA Experience with Assessing the DIAS
HDAA is proud to have been involved with the Department of Health as an Approved Accreditor for the Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme (DIAS) since its implementation in 2008. We have supported literally hundreds of diagnostic imaging services with DIAS accreditation over the intervening years, providing a personalised and responsive assessment service and information for individual practices undertaking accreditation and the scheme updates, benefits and changes.
As an experienced provider of diagnostic imaging accreditation services, HDAA has designed a straightforward membership and online system, onTrack, to enable smooth communications and an easy to use portal to support practices apply for and monitor their accreditation to DIAS.
What is the DIAS?
The Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme was established by the Health Insurance Amendment (Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation) Act 2007 to ensure Medicare funding is directed to diagnostic imaging services that are safe, effective and responsive to the needs of health care consumers. The Health Insurance Act 1973 provides the legislative framework for DIAS.
The scope of DIAS includes radiology and non-radiology diagnostic imaging services and provides practices with eligibility to offer Medicare Australia funding for relevant services.
Practices that provide Medicare funded diagnostic imaging services must achieve and maintain accreditation to ensure ongoing Medicare funding.
The DIAS and Standards have undergone review and some changes have been made, primarily to clarify requirements, address ambiguities and inconsistencies and ensure alignment with the National Safety and Quality Health Services Standards produced by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. No new standards have been introduced.
All practices undergoing accreditation from 1 January 2016 will be assessed against the revised standards whether entering the scheme, progressing from Entry Level to Full Suite or undergoing re-accreditation to the Full Suite of Standards.
The Health Insurance Act 1973 (the Act) provides the legislative framework for the introduction and operation of the Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme for practices providing diagnostic imaging services under Medicare.
The Act allows the Minister for Health to establish through legislative instruments, the rules governing the operation of the Scheme, including the organisations able to provide accreditation services, i.e. HDAA.
In addition, the Act prescribes a number of other matters including:
- The circumstances governing the payment of Medicare benefits for diagnostic imaging services;
- The type of rules the Scheme must include; such as, how practices must obtain and maintain accreditation and how accreditation decisions can be reconsidered; and
- Offence provisions relating to a failure by a proprietor of a practice to notify patients that the practice is not accredited and a Medicare benefit is not payable before providing diagnostic imaging services.
The Act establishes the legislative framework for the Scheme, and other pieces of legislation also impact on the operation of the Scheme, including the:
- Health Insurance Amendment (Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation) Act 2009;
- Health Insurance Regulations 1975;
- Health Insurance (Diagnostic Imaging Services Table) Regulations as amended from time to time;
- Health Insurance (Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation) Instrument 2010; and
- Health Insurance (Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation – Approved Accreditors) Instrument 2010.
Preparing for your DIAS assessment
Contact us by email or phone 1800 601 696 to discuss your service’s individual needs, relevant transition details and to identify a suitable date with sufficient lead time to feel comfortable and prepare for your service’s transition.
There are three key steps to achieving accreditation:
- First you enrol with HDAA. This shows that you have chosen HDAA as your accreditor and we will provide access to onTrack to help you manage your accreditation.
- Second you need to apply for accreditation by providing evidence for us to assess. You upload your evidence into your onTrack portal and we assess it to the relevant DIAS standards.
- The result of your assessment will be your Assessment Report and if all the DIAS standards are met you receive an accreditation certificate. We advise Medicare and the Department of Health of your accredited status so that you can provide the relevant Medicare funded diagnostic imaging services to your patients.
The scheme encompasses all diagnostic imaging services who provide Medicare funded services on the Diagnostic Imaging Services Table (DIST).
The Key Features of DIAS accreditation
A new practice (new business or new entrant to the scheme) can choose either the Entry Level or the Full Suite of Standards.
Entry Level accreditation consists of three (3) Standards and provides two (2) years accreditation. Entry Level accreditation can only be undertaken once. A practice choosing the Entry Level Standards initially must then apply for and achieve accreditation to the Full Suite of Standards.
Accreditation to the Full Suite of Standards requires assessment to the 15 standards and provides four (4) years diagnostic imaging accreditation. Your practice must then be re-accredited to the Full Suite of Standards every four (4) years.
Services choosing not to become accredited (or who do not achieve accreditation) will not be eligible for Medicare funding. Practices must notify patients before providing diagnostic imaging services if the practice is not accredited and therefore that Medicare benefits are not payable.
What an assessment involves
Once you enrol with HDAA you choose either Entry Level or Full Suite accreditation (see Preparing for DIAS Accreditation above).
By logging into your secure onTrack portal, you upload the evidence for each Standard and check a tick box to show which Standard your evidence is related to.
Our skilled and experienced health Assessors review the evidence you provide and prepare a report to show the outcome of your assessment.
The Assessment Report is uploaded for you to your onTrack portal and a notification is emailed to advise of its availability and the outcome of your assessment. When all the DIAS standards are met you receive an accreditation certificate. We advise Medicare and the Department of Health of your accredited status so that you can provide the relevant Medicare funded diagnostic imaging services to your patients.
Certification is for a period of four years from the date the Certificate decision is made following the completion of a review. Re-certification is required to maintain accreditation. The re-certification process is as per assessment to the Full Suite of Standards at initial accreditation.
The Department of Health has a comprehensive set of guidance materials to assist Practices complete an application for accreditation to the Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme (DIAS) standards. The guidance materials include detailed information on each standard explaining what is required, references to State and Territory legislation and templates that practices can adopt to produce the evidence required to meet the Standards.
HDAA strongly endorses these guidance materials and word templates for practices seeking support with preparing for accreditation.
The DIAS 2015 User Guide and templates are available here.
Looking for a Certified Provider?
Service providers accredited by HDAA at this link.