GN 3.7 Case conferencing

Published: 12 August 2019
Last edited: 12 August 2019

Application: This guidance applies to exempt workers

Overview

Case conferences can facilitate and support a worker’s recovery and return to work. They can bring together many stakeholders, including the:

  • worker
  • nominated treating doctor
  • insurer
  • employer
  • treatment providers
  • workplace rehabilitation provider
  • union member.

When used appropriately, case conferences are a planned and collaborative way to help overcome return to work barriers.

This guidance considers practical considerations to optimise the effectiveness of case conferences.

S16. Case conferencing
Principle
Case conferences will be conducted in a manner that promotes return to work and respects the worker’s right to confidential medical consultations.

What is discussed at a case conference?

The types of issues that may be discussed at a case conference include:

  • the worker’s capacity for work
  • the worker’s progress and treatment plan
  • the duties the employer is able to provide to the worker (suitable duties)
  • any workplace support and modifications the worker needs to return to work.

The specific purpose of the case conference should be made clear to all parties before the meeting/teleconference takes place.

A case conference is separate to the worker’s private medical consultation with their nominated treating doctor. If it becomes necessary for the case conference to take the place of the worker’s private appointment with their nominated treating doctor, it should occur only with the consent of the worker and their nominated treating doctor.

In some circumstances, it may be practical for the parties to have a private consultation either before or after the case conference.

Confidentiality

The focus of the case conference should be on recovery from the work-related injury and return to work. The worker’s confidential unrelated medical issues should not be raised.

The insurer should have consent from the worker. The nominated treating doctor should be informed about the worker’s consent and assured that the matters discussed relate to facilitating recovery and return to work only.

Preparation

A case conference should:

  • be carefully planned well in advance of the meeting
  • outline the issues to be discussed
  • encourage active participation and collaboration
  • develop strategies to help the worker recover and return to work
  • set appropriate timeframes to review the worker’s recovery and return to work.

A case conference typically lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. When scheduling, the insurer should allow plenty of time for the case conference.

The case conference should be held at a convenient location. Consideration should be given to alternative arrangements for the case conference such as via telephone or video conference if a face-to-face case conference is not possible.

The insurer should provide the worker with written notice of the case conference, including the time, date and purpose of the meeting. An example for insurers is provided at the end of this guidance.

Insurers should also provide an agenda to all parties before the date of the case conference. The agenda should include:

  • when and where the case conference will be held
  • who will attend
  • what will be discussed
  • any relevant background information.

Follow-up after case conference

The outcomes of the case conference should be documented. Timeframes for actionable items and the parties responsible should be included.

A copy of the outcomes and responsibilities should be provided to all parties who attended the case conference.

Appendix

Advice of a case conference

Date

Worker name

Postal/email address

Claim Number: (insert)

Date of Injury: (insert)

Advice of case conference

Dear (insert worker name),

I am writing to advise that an appointment for a case conference with your nominated treating doctor, Dr (insert NTD name), has been arranged as follows:

Time: (insert time)

Date:
(insert date in at least 10 days’ time unless otherwise agreed)

Location: (insert location)

Attendees: (insert names and roles of all attendees)

Purpose: (insert purpose of case conference)

An agenda is attached and a written record of the discussions undertaken will be distributed following the case conference.

Failure to attend the case conference may lead to:

  • a suspension of weekly compensation and/or
  • the right to recover compensation under the 1987 Act.

This is in accordance with section 48A of the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998.

Who to talk to

For queries regarding the information in this letter, please contact your insurer case manager.

You may also contact the Workers Compensation Independent Review Office (WIRO) on 13 94 76, your union representative or a lawyer.

Sincerely,

Insurer contact

Insurer contact number

Case conference plan

Time: (insert time)

Date:
(insert date in at least 10 days’ time unless otherwise agreed)

Location: (insert location)

Claim number: (insert names and roles of all attendees)

Case conference organiser: (insert purpose of case conference)

Attendees

Name

Contact details

Signature

Worker

   

Employer

   

Nominated treating doctor

   

Workplace rehabilitation provider

   

Insurer

   

Other

   

Purpose of the case conference

What we want to achieve in the case conference is:

 

What we want to discuss during the case conference is:

 

Additional information:

 

Agenda

1.

2.

3.

Action plan

Agreed action

Who is responsible?

By when?

   
   
   

Follow-up case conference

Is a follow-up case conference required?

͸ Yes   If so, when?

͸ No

Email