General COVID-19 provider information
If you're a provider, you'll find updates relating to COVID-19 here.
On this page
We're still here to support you
We're committed to supporting you during the COVID-19 response. And we’d like to extend our thanks for your work in providing care to our clients during an unsettling and uncertain time.
This page shares our latest updates relating to your service delivery and provides information on common issues.
Making it easier to work with us
We have several changes in place over this time to help relieve pressure on you.
We’ve removed prior approval for:
- treatment extension requests via the ACC32, except for changing a diagnosis or for medical and sports specialists (until 30 June 2022)
- non-contracted orthotics under $100 excl. GST (until 30 September 2022)
- threshold for prior approval on orthoses increased to $500 excl. GST per claim (until 30 September 2022)
- new referrals into the Concussion Services (until 31 July 2022)
- Stay at Work Level 1 under Vocational Services (until 31 December 2022)
- Nursing Services (until 30 June 2022)
- Long Term Nursing Services (NS03)
- Ongoing Nursing Services (NS05) can be extended for 3 months
- Extended Nursing can use an additional 10 consultations.
Limiting requests for patient notes
We’re continuing to limit our requests for patient notes. We’re making as many decisions as we can based on the evidence we have, and only requesting additional notes when they’re necessary to make an appropriate decision for a client.
COVID-19 protection framework
Providing services under the COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic light system)
New Zealand moved into the COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic lights) from Friday 3 December 2021. You can find details about the framework on the Unite against COVID-19 website.
What does this mean for ACC services?
Telehealth is enabled for most services at all three levels of the COVID-19 Protection Framework and should be used where clinically appropriate and accessible for the client.
In-person services must be delivered according to Ministry of Health guidance. This includes making sure appropriate environmental management is in place.
Health services cannot be withheld based on the vaccination status of clients.
What is appropriate environment management?
Providers are expected to follow relevant public health measures for each level as set out by the Ministry of Health, including vaccine mandates and guidelines relating to in-person care.
At all traffic light levels, this includes things like:
- good infection prevention control measures
- appropriate use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- providing a QR code for your premises
- encouraging the use of the NZ COVID Tracer app and good record keeping
- encouraging the use of face coverings indoors when appropriate.
These measures help ensure staff and clients are protected and reduce the risk of transmission.
We follow Ministry of Health guidance on COVID-19 vaccination requirements for health and disability workers. This means all ACC providers covered by the vaccination mandate who are providing health services to patients in person, must have had two COVID-19 vaccinations by 1 January 2022.
Roles and physical settings that are covered by the vaccination mandate include:
- health practitioners
- workers who work in close proximity to health practitioners providing services to members of the public
- workers employed or engaged by certified providers, which includes workers at a facility providing hospital care, rest home care, residential disability care or fertility services
- care and support workers who are employed or engaged to carry out work that includes going to the home or place of resident of another person.
Client vaccination status
The current COVID-19 guidance does not allow us to ask clients to disclose their vaccination status. Providers may ask clients their vaccination status, but clients don't have to provide this information.
Clients can’t be denied health services based on their vaccination status and must be permitted to enter a building where health services are delivered.
The COVID-19 Public Health Response (Protection Framework) Order 2021 (clauses 10 and 31) states that a designated premise, which includes premises of health services funded by ACC, can’t deny a person entry based on their vaccination status.
As an alternative to seeing a client in person, telehealth may be used if it’s clinically appropriate, accessible for the client, and if we approve it where required under the terms of the relevant contract’s Service Schedule.
Providing services in-person
The Ministry of Health has provided guidance for in person consultations with unvaccinated patients.
We expect our clients to comply with the guidelines for physical distancing, mask wearing, good hygiene practices and not interacting with others if unwell.
Vaccinations for vulnerable clients
If you know of any vulnerable clients who want to be vaccinated but have not been able to get to a vaccination centre, please ask them to contact us. We can approve transport including, where needed, getting a vaccinator to visit a client if they cannot leave their home.
Home and community support services
Our home and community support suppliers are working hard to meet these vaccination requirements but have told us it may cause some staffing challenges. This may mean care and support for some clients could be impacted.
We are working with suppliers to understand what impacts, if any, there will be to their services to ensure that clients with the highest need receive the essential services they require. Suppliers will contact clients if their service is affected.
If you have any concerns about support for one of your patients, please contact us.
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
The Ministry of Health manages national PPE during COVID-19. The Ministry will work with District Health Boards (DHBs) to distribute the central supply.
You can find the most up-to-date PPE information on the Ministry of Health's website.
We can’t supply PPE beyond what has already been provided for a client's injury or recovery support. If you hold a contract with us, the standard terms and conditions outline that costs of providing a service, eg cleaning or PPE are included in the fee paid.
Online payment processing
If you usually generate and send manual invoices, we request that you instead send these to us digitally through one of the options listed on our website, to make sure they’re processed efficiently.
If you use Xero, MYOB, or a similar online system, and can't connect to one of our digital options, email us your invoices as PDF documents.
The Ministry of Health has launched an app to give providers tailored and up-to-date information about COVID-19. Providers can find the latest case definitions, clinical care pathways, and Personal Protective Equipment guidance 24/7 with the easy-to-use tool.
Āwhina is free to download from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.
Treatment injury cover for COVID-19 vaccination injuries
We can provide treatment and support for injuries caused by COVID-19 vaccination if it meets the criteria for a treatment injury. This means there's a physical injury caused by the vaccination, which's not a necessary part or ordinary consequence of the treatment.
For example, inflammation around the site of the injection is common with a COVID-19 vaccination. It's an ordinary consequence and we're unlikely to cover it. Infections due to the vaccination, such as cellulitis or septic arthritis, and anaphylaxis resulting in injury aren't ordinary consequences and we're likely to cover it.
To make a treatment injury claim for a patient, you need to complete an ACC2152 treatment injury claim form and an electronic or manual ACC45 injury claim form.
To help with our reporting, we need to know the COVID-19 vaccine brand name and vaccination dose number (ie dose one or two). You can note this on:
- the ACC45: Tick the treatment injury box. Identify this as an adverse event in the drop-down menu. Then enter the COVID-19 vaccine brand name and vaccination dose number in the open comments section
- the ACC2152: In Section 3 - Treatment claimed to have caused the injury.
Find more information about lodging a treatment injury claim:
To find out more, you can contact us:
We've published a dedicated page of common questions we're being asked by providers during the COVID-19 response.
Provider COVID-19 updates
You can find the provider updates we're sending during the COVID-19 response on a dedicated page.
If you'd like to receive these email updates for providers, email us your details.
If you have any questions or have difficulty in providing services, email us.
More COVID-19 information
We'll continue to update this page with more information as it becomes available.
Find more resources for health professionals on the Ministry of Health website.
General information is also available on the New Zealand Government COVID-19 website.