Speech pathology services policy

Guidelines for providing speech pathology services to injured workers.


Who can provide speech pathology services

The WorkSafe Agent (the Agent) can only pay for speech pathology services provided by healthcare professionals who are:

  • registered by WorkSafe to provide speech pathology services
  • able to show proof of eligibility for full membership of Speech Pathology Australia or relevant tertiary qualifications, and
  • able to provide evidence of current professional indemnity insurance. Further information on WorkSafe's required level of professional indemnity insurance can be found on WorkSafe's application for registration to provide services to workers.

WorkSafe's expectations for the delivery of speech pathology services

WorkSafe expects that all speech pathologists providing services to workers as part of the Victorian Workers' Compensation Scheme integrate the principles of the Clinical framework for the delivery of health services to injured workers (Clinical Framework) into their daily practice.

The Clinical Framework is based on the following principles:

  1. Measurable treatment effectiveness must be demonstrated.
  2. A biopsychosocial approach is essential for the management of pain.
  3. Treatment must focus on empowering the worker to manager their injury.
  4. Treatment goals must be functional and focused on return to work.
  5. Treatment must be based on the best evidence available.

Referral requirements

  • a medical practitioner must provide a request for speech pathology services prior to commencement of treatment:
    • WorkSafe considers speech pathology to be a referred service. A request from a medical practitioner must therefore be provided
    • referred services include all approved health services with the exception of medical, chiropractic, physiotherapy, osteopathic, optometry, dental and podiatry services
  • no referral to other health services:
    • WorkSafe does not allow speech pathologists to provide referrals to other health services

How much the Agent can pay

The Agent can pay the reasonable costs of speech pathology services up to the maximum amount as detailed in WorkSafe's speech pathology services fee schedule.

What the Agent can pay for

The Agent can pay the reasonable costs of speech pathology services that meet all of the following criteria:

  • treatment is for a work-related injury or illness
  • the provider is currently registered as an speech pathologist with WorkSafe
  • a medical practitioner has provided a request for treatment
  • the service is in line with the principles of the Clinical Framework

What the Agent will not pay for

  • non-attendance/cancellation:
    • the Agent will not pay for appointments where the worker cancels or does not attend
  • more than one consultation on the same day:
    • the Agent will not pay for more than one speech pathology consultation provided on the same day to the same worker
  • provision of more than one allied health service on the same day:
    • where a speech pathologist is registered with WorkSafe for more than one allied health service (for example, speech pathology and remedial massage), the Agent will not pay for the provision of more than one service type to the worker on the same day

Note: This policy is a guideline issued by WorkSafe Victoria under Victorian workers compensation legislation in respect of the reasonable costs of services, and services for which approval should be sought from the WorkSafe Agent or self-insurer (as the case may be) before the services are provided.