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Fee Guidance for workplace rehabilitation provider services

Purpose

To provide scheme guidance to rehabilitation authorities and workplace rehabilitation providers (WRPs) on the appropriate cost and duration for WRP services.

Background

  • Comcare approves WRPs to operate in the Comcare scheme (see How to become an approved workplace rehabilitation provider).
  • Comcare’s approval allows WRPs to deliver rehabilitation services in line with the requirements detailed in Criteria and Operational Standards for Workplace Rehabilitation Providers 2015, which is based on the Heads of Workers’ Compensation Authorities’ Nationally Consistent Approval Framework for Workplace Rehabilitation Providers (National Framework).
  • The National Framework establishes standards to deliver high quality workplace rehabilitation services. The National Framework outlines a number of service provision principles including “Effective service provision at an appropriate cost”.
  • Comcare has issued fee guidance for WRP services to address this service provision principle and provide consistency across the Comcare scheme in defining appropriate costs for WRP services.
  • Comcare established the fee guidance through reviewing the scheme’s current practices in managing WRP costs, fee rates established by other Australian workers’ compensation schemes, and public consultation on indicative rates.

Fee guidance

Comcare encourages WRPs and rehabilitation authorities to liaise closely on the type of rehabilitation service required and the appropriate cost for the service.

This guidance indicates Comcare’s position on what are reasonable rates for WRP services.  This guidance is not intended to override service level agreements that may exist between employers and WRPs.

Comcare acknowledges that WRP service fees may vary based on several factors, including but not limited to:

  • Elements of case complexity (such as the nature of condition(s), presence of co-morbidities, amount of time an employee has been away from work or is expected to be away, nature of pre-injury employment, and the circumstances of the claim).
  • WRP qualifications and level of experience.
  • Geographical location.

Table 1: Comcare fee guidance on WRP services 2018-2019

WRP Service

Recommended rate

Description of service

Hourly rate

$181.38 (+GST)

 

Travel rate

$181.38 (+GST)

WRPs can invoice for travel after the first 30 minutes for each trip.  Travel of 30 minutes or less is included in the relevant service fee and not charged separately.  Travel must be calculated from the WRPs closest office location (or cost centre) to the site being attended.

For example, if a WRP travels a total of 45 minutes to the employee’s workplace to perform a workplace assessment, they can charge for 15 minutes of travel.  If the WRP is reasonably required to travel on a separate date to the employee’s workplace to complete the worksite assessment then they can charge another 15 minutes travel.

WRPs are to seek discussion and prior approval from the rehabilitation authority for travel above 30 minutes as part of the rehabilitation program.

WRP service type

Expected duration of service using hourly rate of $181.38 (+GST)

Description of service

Initial needs assessment (including workplace visit) and report (s.36)

6-8 hours

($1088.29 to $1451.06 +GST)

The assessment provides information on an employee’s capability to undertake a rehabilitation program and, if appropriate, the type of program they require.

The assessment typically includes a meeting with the employee, a workplace visit (see Workplace assessment below), analysis of pre-injury duties, liaison with the treating practitioner(s), identification of potential barriers to rehabilitation and recommended strategies, and documentation of the assessment findings.

Vocational assessment and report

6-8 hours

($1088.29 to $1451.06 +GST)

Vocational assessment includes an analysis of the employee’s work profile, suitable vocational options, and recommended strategies to achieve vocational goals.

The assessment can range from a brief vocational screening through to detailed assessment and vocational counselling.

Functional assessment and report

4-6 hours

($725.53 to $1088.29 +GST)

A functional assessment involves objective measures of an employee’s current work capacity against relevant work demands.  The assessment can be onsite or a
standalone assessment when a workplace visit is not possible.

The purpose of the assessment is to identify suitable tasks for the employee.

Workplace assessment and report

4-6 hours

($725.53 to $1088.29 +GST)

This is an onsite assessment with the purpose of assessing the employee’s pre-injury duties, identifying suitable tasks, designing a rehabilitation program including safe upgrades of tasks and hours.

Progress report

30-60 minutes

($90.69 to $181.38 +GST)

A progress report provides an update of the employee’s progress against agreed rehabilitation milestones.  The report may include: an update of relevant outcome measures, review of screening tools, and strategies to address barriers to rehabilitation.

A progress report can be requested at agreed regular intervals or only when considered necessary.

A progress report can be informal, for example in the form of an email, or formal using a report template.

Closure report

30-60 minutes

($90.69 to $181.38 +GST)

A closure report provides a full summary of the employee’s rehabilitation from referral to closure or cessation of WRP services.

Rates will be indexed annually on 1 July. Please note, due to rounding in the indexation process, the fee rate for multiple hours may vary by a small amount from the rate used for one hour.

View WRP fee rates from previous years [PDF,103KB].

For further information or superseded guidance on previous WRP fee rates please contact Comcare’s Scheme Policy and Design team on 1300 366 979 or email: general.enquiries@comcare.gov.au.

For more information on the description of workplace rehabilitation services please refer to the following resources:

Scheme Guidance

This information is for: Government sector, Licensees and Workplace Rehabilitation Providers

Document number: SRC305

Last updated: 8 June 2018

Fee Guidance for workplace rehabilitation provider services [PDF, 118KB]

Page last updated: 08 Jun 2018