Case conferences are a vital element in return-to-work planning for injured workers. What’s more, as a GP, you have a pivotal role to play in them. Read on to find out how case conferences work and how you can help ensure they enhance and expedite the return-to-work journey for your patients.What should you aim to achieve with a case conference?
Case conferences are a forum for planning and managing an injured worker’s return to work program. They provide an opportunity for everyone involved in your patient’s program to get on the same page, align expectations and address barriers to your patient’s recovery and return to work.
Case conferences are usually conducted face-to-face at the treating GP’s practice. However, if your practice isn’t convenient for everyone involved, you might want to consider a teleconference.
Anyone can initiate a case conference, but it’s often coordinated by the injured worker’s employer, insurer or workplace rehabilitation provider. Generally, the conference is attended by a minimum of three participants, including the:
- injured worker
- medical practitioner
- employer (including the injury management coordinator and/or line manager)
- insurer or workplace rehabilitation provider.
As a GP, you’re able to bill for your time according to the schedule of fees for general practitioners – check out the rates, fees and payments page for the current schedule of fees. Here are the codes you’ll need for the bill:
|WorkCover WA code||GP000030|
|Australian Medical Association / Medicare Benefits Scheme fee code||WG010|
- Suggest to your patient that a case conference should be held
- Seek your patient’s consent to hold a case conference, explaining the benefits of a coordinated injury management and return to work program.
- Note the case conference on your patient’s certificate of capacity.
- Allow plenty of time for the conference – ask your patient, their employer and your admin staff to schedule a long appointment.
- Hold the case conference at your medical practice (so you don’t have to travel).
- Consider a teleconference if you or another stakeholder can’t attend in person.
- Maintain a focus on an early and lasting return to work.
- Keep up to date with the development of your patient’s return to work program.
Remember, case conferences are a forum for discussing your patient’s recovery from injury and their return to work program. You should always maintain confidentiality regarding other private medical matters.
Learn more about return to work programs, or read about making referrals to workplace rehabilitation providers.
This video details how and why a case conference can be organised and utilised to help an injured worker return to work.