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11.3.2 Selecting Rehabilitation Providers for clients residing overseas

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Last amended 
8 December 2016

Where clients residing overseas are required or wish to participate in a rehabilitation program, there are two possible ways to manage their program and deliver rehabilitation services:

  • using a rehabilitation provider in Australia; or
  • engaging a suitable overseas provider.

In each instance, the first step is to organise a referral to an Australian provider for a rehabilitation assessment. The assessment can be done with the client by skype, video conference or telephone.

Australia rehabilitation provider

If it is possible, in the best interests of the client, and if an appropriate provider can be sourced, a rehabilitation program can be managed for an overseas client by an Australian provider. The program would be managed using all of the same processes and reporting requirements as though the client was in Australia. In these circumstances, any rehabilitation services can also be delivered from Australia by skype, using online training/technology and email. Utilising this option will depend on the client’s circumstances, the services they require and their willingness to engage with a provider in this way.

The Australian provider could manage the rehabilitation program, by sourcing suitable companies in the overseas country, to provide the specific services required. In this instance the provider would be sub-contracting the overseas company as a third party provider of services which would be paid for as a third party cost under the rehabilitation plan. The sub-contracting arrangement would mean that there is no requirement for the overseas company to be an accredited Comcare provider as the overall program would still be managed by a rehabilitation provider who meets Comcare and DVA’s accreditation requirements.

Overseas rehabilitation provider

Where the rehabilitation assessment finds that a rehabilitation program would be best delivered face to face with the client, this can be arranged provided the following criteria is met:

  • that the standard of services offered by an overseas rehabilitation service provider are of a similar whole of person approach to rehabilitation that is consistent with the existing rehabilitation framework under the MRCA;
  • that Comcare recognise the overseas rehabilitation service provider as a Comcare accredited provider and that we are satisfied that they have the relevant skills and experience to meet the DVA specific requirements (please refer below to specific information for client’s in New Zealand);
  • that the fees quoted by the overseas rehabilitation service provider are reasonable and consistent with costs for delivering similar services in Australia; and
  • that the rehabilitation services are paid for on a fee for service basis.

In these cases, the Rehabilitation Coordinator is responsible for sourcing an appropriate provider who meets the criteria above. If assistance is required with this, please contact the Rehabilitation Policy section via the 'Rehabilitation' mailbox.

Clients in New Zealand

If the rehabilitation assessment finds that the best outcome for the client is to have a provider in NZ deliver services face to face, advice about an appropriate provider must be sourced from the Accident Compensation Commission (ACC). The ACC is the Comcare equivalent organisation in NZ and therefore, any provider referred by the ACC will be appropriately accredited.