Telehealth policy

Guidelines for the provision of telehealth services to injured workers.



Telehealth attendance means audio-visual or audio only conference between a service provider and a worker. Audio-visual connection is always preferred where possible.

Telehealth provides:

  • flexibility for continuation of services when in person services are not possible
  • additional options for person centred care according to the individual circumstances of each worker

What Worksafe will pay for

WorkSafe/the Agent can pay for telehealth services required for a work-related injury or illness, where the workers' compensation claim has been accepted, or a mental injury/illness is sustained by a worker, who is entitled to provisional payment.

WorkSafe supports telehealth services by WorkSafe approved/registered providers where each of the following criteria are met:

For WorkSafe approved telehealth item codes please refer to the:

Provider guidelines for delivery of telehealth

It is the expectation that all providers delivering telehealth services will:

  • have an understanding of the telehealth guidelines issued by their relevant peak body, and incorporate these guidelines into practice
  • have an established relationship with the worker, where the service is for treatment (see hybrid approach below for detail)
  • ensure protection of the workers privacy and their rights to confidentiality

Where a service is conducted by telehealth, any documentation or report prepared by the provider must:

  1. report that the examination was conducted via telehealth attendance, and
  2. specify if the telehealth attendance was audio and visual, or audio only, and
  3. report why it was clinically appropriate to conduct the service by telehealth, and
  4. specify the worker was informed of the telehealth process and indicated it was their preferred mode of appointment

WorkSafe expects all providers utilising telehealth to integrate the principles of the Clinical Framework for the Delivery of Health Services (Clinical Framework) into their practice.

Hybrid approach to telehealth treatment

WorkSafe does not support providers offering telehealth only services. Where telehealth is utilised for a worker's treatment it should be offered as a hybrid approach with a combination of face to face and telehealth consultations.

Telehealth attendance is supported only when the worker has an established relationship with the healthcare practitioner.

An established relationship means the health care practitioner (or a practitioner with an equivalent registration, within the practice location) has provided at least one face to face service to the worker in the 12 months preceding the telehealth attendance.

Prior approval by the agent may be sought as an exception where a worker chooses telehealth to enable treatment which would otherwise be restricted due to travel time or access limitations i.e. an interstate clinician offering a specific service not locally available or if significant travel is required for regional/remote workers. In this circumstance the hybrid model can be delivered by more than one provider if this assists in provision of service in line with the Clinical Framework. In this circumstance, providers must be able to effectively communicate with each other in relation to the workers treatment, and the worker must agree to ongoing telehealth only appointments with the remote clinician.

Certificate of Capacity via telehealth

Certificate/s of Capacity should not be provided to workers via telehealth.

Prior approval by the agent may be sought in providing individual Certificates of Capacity via telehealth in exceptional circumstances, including responding to pandemic restrictions.

If a Certificate of Capacity is approved and provided via telehealth this appointment must be audio-visual not audio only.

Utilisation of telehealth for workers with low English speaking proficiency

All criteria described in this document applies. Where a worker is of non- English speaking cultural background additional consideration is required to ensure the service is culturally safe.

In circumstances where English Is not the first language used by the worker the provider must ensure the worker understands the full context of the appointment. This may require utilisation of an interpreter.

What the Agent will not pay for

  • telephone communication with a worker outside of regular scheduled treatments
  • any treatment provided that is not aligned with this policy, or the policy and service standards applicable to the provider delivering the service
  • appointments where the worker cancels or does not attend (except in exceptional circumstances i.e. worker involved in traffic accident or there has been a recent death in the workers family)
  • telehealth only attendance for treatment where the worker does not have an established relationship with the provider unless exceptional circumstances apply and the hybrid model is applied. (This does not apply to appointments for assessment by an Independent Medical Examiner)
  • services provided via telehealth where either the worker or provider are located overseas

Independent Medical Examiner (IME) utilisation of telehealth

Refer to the WorkSafe IME service standards.