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WorkSafe / TAC

AMA Victoria is aware of many of the problems members face in managing WorkSafe / TAC patients.  Tackling these issues means taking a number of avenues given the size and complexity of the schemes.

AMA Victoria seeks WorkSafe / TAC reforms

AMA Victoria has called for action from WorkSafe/TAC to improve the system including faster processing of claims and decisions on treatment, simplified forms and review of medical payments.  We continue to lobby for change. 

AMA Victoria interacts through WorkSafe / TAC Sub Committee

A Subcommittee of the Board of AMA Victoria meets bi-monthly to discuss issues of concern relating to WorkSafe and the TAC schemes.  The Committee provides input to AMA Victoria’s lobbying activities in this area.  Dr Gary Speck, Orthopaedic Surgeon, is the current Chair of this Committee.  If you have an issue that you think should be raised with the Committee you can email Ms Annie Morrison at anniem@amavic.com.au

Matters canvassed during the year included:

  • Payments for telephone calls relating to Return to Work;
  • WorkSafe / TAC audits;
  • Payments for case conferencing.
  • Better payments for worksite inspections.

Managing WorkSafe / TAC interaction

Much discussion has occurred over the interaction between WorkSafe / TAC, doctors and their patients (who are claimants).

AMA Victoria has put together resources to assist practices treating patients where WorkSafe and TAC are involved.

Charging Patients (WorkSafe / TAC Claimants)

Without an increase in medical payments more doctors will limit or cease treating claimants due to the onerous obligations of dealing with the schemes.  This is not helped when combined with a litigious environment and limited ability to recover costs.

Doctors can consider how to charge patients.  In deciding to go down the pathway of direct billing of patients (and having them collect the rebate from the schemes), practices need good paper work.  Patients are then able to make informed decisions about their treatment (including costs) and where they can go to make complaints. Attached are templates for use by practices.  The templates are:

  1. Template Poster: information about upfront billing for WorkSafe / TAC patient.
  2. Template Letter: Upfront payment for WorkSafe / TAC.
  3. Template: making complaints to WorkSafe / TAC billing policies.

There was an article written by Geoff O'Kearney about billing practices in a past issue of vicdoc, you can download this article here.

Providing informed financial consent to patients

As practitioners you have an obligation to ensure that your patients make an informed financial consent if you are charging the patient directly.  The current rebate schedules are available from:

WorkSafe
TAC

Communicating about Return to Work

All doctors want to help patients return to work.  This aim is sometimes thwarted by the schemes themselves.  How you can communicate with employers and schemes regarding return to work (and other issues) can take a variety of formats.  WorkSafe now pays for interaction over the telephone and case conferences aimed at return to work.  Extra payment is available for worksite visits.  For more information go to https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/193601/GP-Participation-in-RTW-Activities-information-sheet.pdf  

Handling requests for Treating Practitioner Medical Reports

Requests for reports from WorkSafe/TAC are a part of daily practice.  How you deal with these requests differs between practitioners. 

A guide to preparing a Treating Doctor’s Report is to be found here.

Dr Gary Speck provides great insight into how he handles with requests whilst retaining some control over the process. Download his article here. 

Making a Complaint

We receive many calls of concern from members regarding the schemes.  We are happy to help.  Members also need to complain directly to the schemes.  The schemes need to know (formally) if patients are suffering as a result of poor performance.  Of importance is that this concern is translated into a formal complaint.  These complaints are reviewed by both schemes and form part of reports to their Boards.  To lodge a complaint go to these locations or call the relevant numbers.  Ensure you receive a registration number for the complaint as only these complaints are reported.

To make a complaint to WorkSafe – click here:
http://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/7f9c93804071f4379a4edee1fb554c40/complaints.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

or ring WorkSafe Advisory Service on (03) 9641 1444 or Freecall 1800 136 089.

Ensure that your complaint is registered and you are given a complaint number.

 

To make a complaint to TAC – click here:

https://www.tac.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/35847/TAC_Complaint_Process.pdf

or ring TAC Customer Service Centre on 1300 654 329 or 1800 332 556 (toll-free outside Melbourne metropolitan area)

Ensure that your complaint is registered and you are given a complaint number.

 

 

For further information contact the Workplace Relations Unit on (03) 9280 8722.

For further information contact the Workplace Relations Unit on (03) 9280 8722.

Last reviewed July 2016

 

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