We recently received the following question from an injured worker: “why is it so hard to get help from doctors when you are on work cover?” Many doctors are just fed up with the extremely time consuming ,“ridiculous” amount of paperwork required by WorkCover, for which they are most often not paid, and with the constant harassment, interference and pressure from case managers.
Quite often the lack of a bonding and lasting doctor-patient or doctor-injured worker relationship is a central part…and —often— a central problem…of the workcover system. Quite often the injured worker did not choose to see their doctor or specialist, and the reverse is also true, quite often the doctor did not choose nor want to see this injured worker…
Most injured workers know that it can be very difficult to find a doctor, specialist or surgeon who is willing to treat your work related injury (or illness). It can be even more difficult to obtain a 2nd (and 3d) opinion, and if you are not happy with your treating doctor (i.e. s/he does not believe your symptoms), for many, it is almost impossible to find a new doctor/surgeon/specialist who is willing to take over your care. So what do you do?
Injured or ill workers deserve good medical care, rehabilitation, as well as compensation for permanent injury. Unfortunately more and more doctors are shying away from treating patients in the workers’ compensation system, They should not but they should be aware of how the work-over system works.
We very often receive emails from injured workers asking us how long it will take for workcover to approve their surgeon’s request for (elective) surgery. The answer is however long it will take for your dimwit case manager/ workcover insurer to decide whether your surgery is “reasonable” or not, and this -unfortunately- includes the all too often the “need for additional information” request, be it endless communication with your surgeon, or an “independent” medical opinion (IME).
Omigod, our co-author “Trinny” stumbled upon and kindly shared the Medical Practitioners Guide to Workcover NSW, “sloganeered” by “ABILITY NOT DISABILITY – A BACK TO WORK APPROACH”. Read between the lines, guys and imagine you are a GP and in receipt of this “guide”… would you not feel, uhhh, pressured to return even the most seriously injured of your patients to work?
Doctors are refusing to take WorkCover SA patients, forcing people to travel from as far as Murray Bridge to the city for treatment. The Australian Medical Association president Peter Sharley said it was an ongoing and significant issue.
By popular demand, here is the Guide to the evaluation of psychiatric impairment for clinicians (G.E.P.I.C) used today to assess permanent primary and/or secondary psychiatric/psychological conditions suffered as a result from or as a consequence of a workplace injury, by insurance doctors and medical panels.
On 1 October there were some important changes to workers compensation in NSW that will affect medical practitioners and their patients as a result of recent reforms to the Workers Compensation Scheme.The new certificate of capacity focuses on what your patient can do rather than what they can’t do…. that’s right, folks, read between the lines and brace yourselves!
New certificate of capacity in NSW
New certificate of capacity – Doctors call 1800 661 111 to find out more
The reforms, passed by the NSW Parliament in June, focus on helping injured workers return to work and maximising work capacity.
As with the medical certificate, the nominated treating doctor or treating specialist medical practitioner is responsible for completing the certificate of capacity.
The new certificate of capacity will be the main way for nominated treating doctors to communicate with all parties involved in the return to work process.
…that’s right, read between the lines folks!!!!
Medical practitioners are required to use the new certificate of capacity instead of the WorkCover medical certificate for all patients with a workers compensation claim. The old medical certificate is no longer available from WorkCover.
There will be a grace period of six months to allow you to make the adjustment, during which time the insurers will continue to accept the old medical certificate.
You can download the new interactive version of the certificate from WorkCover’s website by simply typing WC01300 into the onsite search. WorkCover is working with the main providers of medical practice management systems to incorporate the certificate into their software.
By November 2012 you will also be able to order printed pads of the certificates from WorkCover.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Doctor’s helpline on 1800 661 111.
The new certificate of capacity
View (or download) the certificate of capacity in a separate window>>
Sourced and kindly shared by At A Loss : http://www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/aboutus/newsroom/Pages/New-doctors-helpline.aspx
Only recently this issue was addressed by this blog— Bosses are intruding on workcover doctors visits.
At this stage, unions were becoming concerned with employers demanding they attend medical appointments with injured employees and participating in discussions with employers concerning employees conditions. The answer is now final. These employers invasion of injured employees privacy has now been published.
This emerging practice has now been addressed by The Fair Work Ombusman.