WorkCover Queensland reviews and updates the medical fees applicable for workers’ compensation in Queensland. For consistency, we adopt the Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) item numbers, explanations, definitions, rules and conditions for services provided by medical practitioners.
This review is generally done on an annual basis, however any significant changes to fees are reflected on a timely basis to ensure consistency and early adoption.
The Medical Items Table of Costs has now been updated to reflect MBS changes up to 17 March 2020, which include amendments to intensive care and emergency medicine and new COVID-19 telehealth items.
COVID-19 telehealth and telephone fees
In response to COVID-19 Medicare released new telehealth and telephone fees, effective from 13 March 2020. These new items allow medical professionals to continue providing certain health services to patients during the period of their isolation or if they are considered more susceptible to the COVID-19 virus. It may also apply to health professionals who have been required to isolate themselves in quarantine.
For workers’ compensation services, we have released new COVID-19 Telehealth Services Table of Costs, effective 13 March 2020. Fees will also be incorporated into our 1 April 2020 release.
New diagnostic imaging fees
Over the past 12 months, WorkCover has conducted extensive research and analysis across jurisdictions, consulted with industry experts and engaged with relevant stakeholders to develop a treating services fee structure that is not only aligned with schemes across Australia but also delivers better outcomes for our customers. Our initial investigations have focused on diagnostic imaging fees where WorkCover is paying the highest fees compared to other jurisdictions.
The December 2019 Medical Items Table of Costs review included a freeze on diagnostic imaging fees, pending further consultation with relevant stakeholders and industry bodies. We have continued our research and consultation, and have now developed a new fee schedule for diagnostic imaging services, effective 1 April 2020.
In developing the new schedule, our priority and focus has remained on ensuring injured workers receive timely and quality medical and rehabilitation services to facilitate their return to work. We have also kept in mind our obligation to ensure these services are provided at a fair price and which minimise the impact of claim costs on employers’ premiums.
While there is a reduction in diagnostic imaging fees, they are still considerably higher than the MBS and higher than most other jurisdictions. They meet our criteria of delivering timely and quality medical and rehabilitation services and which help us to ensure the financial stability of the workers’ compensation scheme in Queensland.
We have also developed a more streamlined process to help diagnostic imaging providers better service workers’ compensation claims. The process will help providers to quickly determine the billing approach and reduce administrative tasks.
Over the coming months, research and analysis will continue across other medical and allied health services to identify further improvements and we will continue to work with the relevant professional bodies to implement change.
Working with us is easier than ever
WorkCover is committed to continuous improvement. We have listened to your feedback and have made further enhancements to Provider Connect, including improved remittance search and download features. See how we’ve made invoice reconciliation easier.
Recent enhancements to Provider Connect include: