The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) has recently completed a comprehensive review of the Allied Health Practitioner Management Framework with the aim of integrating legislative reforms, building practitioner and insurer capability, embedding the Clinical Framework for the Delivery of Health Services, and promoting collaborative, outcomes focused customer service.
SIRA highly recommends that all allied health practitioners view the attached webinar (approx. 15 mins in length). It provides a comprehensive tour of the key elements and changes to the allied health practitioner framework. Click here to view the webinar.
Under the revised framework, massage therapists are classified as Tier 2 allied health practitioners. Remedial massage therapists are no longer required to be SIRA approved and the listing of previously approved practitioners has therefore been removed from the SIRA website.
Further details on practitioner classifications are provided in the publication ‘A workers compensation guide for allied health practitioners’. This guide replaces the previous Remedial Massage Therapist’s guide to WorkCover NSW. All massage therapists should adhere to the principles and procedures set out in ‘A workers compensation guide for allied health practitioners’, including use of the Allied Health Recovery Request (AHRR).
The AHRR is mandatory from 1 August 2016. The AHRR is the primary communication tool between practitioners and the insurer regarding the worker’s recovery and service provision. The AHRR replaces the previous Remedial Massage Management Plan. The AHRR provides practitioners with the ability to document and demonstrate treatment effectiveness and empowers the injured person to manage their injury through the establishment of SMART recovery goals. These goals are focused on optimising function, participation and recovery at/return to work. The SIRA document entitled ‘Completing the Allied Health Recovery Request’ will assist practitioners complete the form.
In accordance with the revised framework and the Guidelines for claiming workers compensation (which take effect on 1 August 2016), massage therapists delivering services to NSW workers;
- Must now seek insurer approval prior to the delivery of any services to an injured worker, with the exception of services provided within 48 hours of the injury. This includes insurer pre-approval for incidental expenses and equipment provision.
- Following insurer pre-approval and completion of the first consultation, massage therapists must complete and submit an AHRR to obtain pre-approval for any subsequent proposed services.
- Must invoice insurers in accordance with the Workers Compensation (Massage Therapy Fees) Order 2016, No. 2, which takes effect 1 August 2016.
- Should participate fully in Independent Consultant reviews when contacted.
The Personal Injury Education Foundation (PIEF) provides online training for all allied health practitioners seeking to gain a greater understanding of the workers compensation system, including completion of the AHRR. All allied health practitioners delivering services to injured workers are encouraged to complete the training. For more details contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
All reference documents referred to within this correspondence, including the AHRR, are available in the Workers Compensation Regulation section of the SIRA website at www.sira.nsw.gov.au.
For further information contact the SIRA Customer Service Centre on 13 10 50 or email email@example.com.