The Susan Larter Vision Trust provides eligible patients with funding for optometric vision therapy that they could not otherwise afford. Optometrists may apply for funding on behalf of their patients.
The Trust accepts donations and sponsorships from the profession and the public and is a registered charity. ACBO acts as Trustee and administers the operation of the Trust. Funds received by the Trust are invested and disbursed according to guidelines set by ACBO. The amount of funds available for disbursement to patients is announced at the beginning of each financial year, and is dependent on income achieved in the previous year. This fulfills the Trustee’s mandate for responsible financial management to ensure the ongoing viability of the Trust.
- Susan Larter Vision Trust Scheme Information
- Patient Funding Application Form
- Patient Research Consent Form
- Pre Treatment Clinical Assessment Form (to be approved by the Panel)
- Post Treatment Clinical Assessment Form (to be submitted after treatment)
Please email or post completed forms 2, 3 & 4 to:
ACBO, Suite 1:07, 2 – 8 Queen St, MELBOURNE VIC 3000
Application approval will be advised to the optometrist by email. The patient will be sent a voucher for $1000 which they need to give to their optometrist who will include it with their invoice & Post-Treatment Report for payment at the conclusion of treatment.
One of the most important outcomes of this scheme is that treatments will generate valuable data that may be used for future research. The treating optometrist can help by seeking the patient’s cooperation and encouraging them to sign the Patient Research Consent Form. Although this is not a mandatory requirement for application success, consent is appreciated as it will aid our research efforts.
How much of the required VT is funded by the Trust?
The cost of each patient’s treatment will vary, depending on the length of the treatment program, the type of treatment recommended, and the amount charged by the treating Optometrist. One of the important criteria for funding is that the patient makes a co-contribution towards their treatment. Although the Trust will not be prescriptive about the level of co-contribution (this is a matter to be decided between optometrist and patient), it is recommended that a meaningful figure (say 10 – 20% of the total cost of the program) be agreed. This is to ensure that the patient values the service that is being provided by making a meaningful investment in their own treatment.
The application process
It is important to note that in accordance with the Trust Deed, the patient must be the applicant. Typically, the patient is under the care of an optometrist who has advised that Vision Therapy is indicated as the most suitable treatment.
- Applications must be approved before treatment commences
- Providing patient eligibility criteria are met, the Patient fills in a Patient Funding Application
- Treatment programs must be a minimum of 12 weeks in duration, in line with minimums recommended by CITT research
- The Patient should be encouraged to complete the Research Consent Form
- These forms must be submitted to ACBO for approval by the Assessment Panel
- If the treating optometrist is not an ACBO Fellow, they will need to obtain the co-signature of a current ACBO Fellow
- Funding is not guaranteed, and is subject to approval of the proposed treatment plan. The Assessment Panel’s decision on this is final
- If approved, the Trust will issue a $1000 voucher to the Patient who passes it on to the treating Optometrist as partial payment for the treatment program
- On approval of funding, a number is issued that should be referenced on all forms, invoices and the Voucher. This number is unique to each case
- At the conclusion of the treatment the Optometrist returns the voucher with accompanying Post Treatment Assessment Form to SLVT to redeem his payment.
Treating Optometrist criteria
The Vision Therapy is provided by an appropriately qualified and experienced optometrist who has submitted a treatment plan which is approved for funding by the Application Assessment Panel.
Treating optometrists must satisfy the following criteria:
- Must be a registered Optometrist
- Must provide the service in Australia
- Must be a member of Optometry Australia
Who assesses the applications?
The Trustee has appointed a panel to assess applications and confirm their suitability for funding. These panel members are all highly credentialed Fellows of ACBO who are working in a voluntary capacity. The members of this Panel may change from time to time. The Panel aims to complete assessments within 4 weeks of receipt of the application. Applications are not guaranteed to be approved. The Panel may query a Treatment Plan and has the right to decline applications without entering into correspondence with the patient applicant or treating optometrist. The Panel may set their own criteria for assessing applications.
Criteria for successful approvals may include, but are not limited to:
- Suitability & clinical rigour of the treatment plan
- Likelihood of improvement of condition
- Degree of impact of successful treatment on quality of life of the patient
- Likelihood of patient compliance
- Each funding Voucher is for the amount of $1,000
- The Vision Therapy program described in the Clinical Assessment Form needs to be commenced within 6 months of funding approval.
- Vouchers must be redeemed within 3 months of completion of treatment by the treating Optometrist
- Vouchers cannot be redeemed by the patient
- Vouchers cannot be redeemed for products or services other than those described in the approved application
- Each Voucher issued is specific to the accompanying application and cannot be reused, transferred to other patients or other applications
- Vouchers are for one-time use only
After completion of treatment program
Once the treatment program has been completed, the treating optometrist must supply:
- Completed Post-Treatment Clinical Assessment Form describing outcomes of treatment and report on patient compliance
- Feedback on their experience as the treating optometrist
- Invoice made out to the Susan Larter Vision Trust for $1000 plus gst (if applicable) including Voucher for redemption.
- Please ensure your invoice includes all relevant details as shown on this sample
- Invoice must quote Voucher number and bank details for EFT remittance
- Invoices will be paid within 14 days of receipt
Getting the word out
Once the patient has been treated, there is an opportunity for us to share a good news story. The Trust would like the opportunity to feature the patient in its publicity and share their journey with the profession and the general community, and may wish to contact the patient post treatment. Again, consent is entirely at the patient’s discretion, but would be appreciated as it may encourage others in similar need to come forward to seek assistance.
Supporting the Susan Larter Vision Trust
Patron: Prof Brien Holden OAM
Trustee: The Australasian College of Behavioural Optometrists
Supporters & Sponsors:
The Brien Holden Vision Institute
ACBO Members and Fellows
Sparke Helmore Lawyers