PACFA members in South Australia are able to provide services for work injured people, under the South Australian work injury scheme, ReturnTo Work South Australia (RTWSA).
Recognising the need for counsellors and psychotherapists in the mental health and rehabilitation workforce, RTWSA will pay for counselling and psychotherapy services where appropriate.
Access to counselling services
Under the Return to Work Scheme, workers are entitled to be compensated for the costs of services that are reasonably incurred as a result of having suffered a work injury.
In most instances, it is the treating medical practitioner (usually the worker's GP) that makes a referral for counselling services. Once a referral has been received, RTWSA recommends that the provider of the service (the counsellor) contact the worker’s claims manager before commencing services. The worker will provide their claims manager’s contact details to the counsellor.
When contacting the claims manager, the provider should:
· discuss the request for service (e.g. I have received a referral for treatment from XX)
· confirm whether the service will be paid by the claims manager
· discuss the proposed service, including recommended hourly rate/fee, expected service duration (e.g. X sessions), and any requirements the claims manager may have (e.g. communication, treatment plans etc)
This is an important step, as a referral from a treating medical practitioner does not mean the worker will automatically have their claim for counselling approved. The claims manager needs to determine whether the service is reasonable in relation to the compensable work injury.
RTWSA does not provide a fee schedule for counselling services, so they recommend counsellors charge what they would usually charge a private patient, ensuring that it is reasonable for the provision of the service. Services should also be linked to the work-injury and delivered in accordance with the Clinical Framework for the Delivery of Health Services.
Watch RTWSA's short video for an overview of the scheme.
PACFA members are welcome to complete RTWSA's free online course for allied health practitioners on providing return to work services.
For queries, contact RTWSA at [email protected]
PACFA also has partnerships with WorkSafe Queensland, Worksafe Victoria, and the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) in New South Wales. PACFA continues our advocacy with workers’ compensation management organisations in other states and territories.