New services for general practitioners (GPs), designed to help injured patients return to work safely and quickly were to be available throughout New Zealand from Accident Compensation Corp. (ACC) starting Feb. 25.
According to information from ACC, the packs were sent out in mid-February to GPs in practices south of Taupo, assisting them with key details in readiness for bringing in the services.
The services will reportedly make it easier and quicker for GPs to talk to ACC about their patients’ requirements and request return to work services; easier to assist in resolving difficult work certification cases; and easier to certify fitness for work.
The nationwide rollout comes on the heels of the launch of services into the north of the North Island in October last year. In the four months since then, GPs have progressively taken to the new services, which will now be available to all GPs.
The services are:
- Your Call Support Service – which provides online (via the eACC18 medical certificate) and free phone access (0508 ACCRTW) to return to work assistance for GPs and their patients, either from experienced ACC triage managers or case owners.
- Clinical Review of Fitness for Work Service – which provides personal support and guidance for GPs, from peers experienced in occupational medicine, on difficult or complex return to work cases.
- General Practice Support Service – which provides CME-qualifying education and training in work fitness certification, designed by ACC and delivered by participating PHOs.
Focus Is on Initiatives for Dialogue and Service
These initiatives focus on opening up channels for dialogue and service from ACC, providing one-on-one advice to GPs on certifying difficult cases, and on facilitating broad-scale sector training for GPs in work capacity certification through PHOs.
Over time, ACC believes there will be a major change in GPs’ thinking to work capacity certification, from the current default position of signing clients off as fully unfit to work to the more flexible and useful status of fit for selected duties. Doing so will reportedly allow ACC to set the wheels of vocational rehabilitation in motion and get rehabilitation on track sooner rather than later.
For more information, pay a visit to acc.co.nz at www.acc.co.nz/for-providers/certification/index.htm.
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: email@example.com.
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