Provider COVID-19 FAQs
If you're a provider, you'll find frequently asked questions relating to COVID-19 here.
On this page
How can I help a client who needs essential services during COVID-19?
It's our priority to work with you to make sure our most vulnerable clients continue to receive the services they need. We expect that, as part of your business continuity planning, you have plans in place for identifying and managing clients with essential needs for services. If you're experiencing difficulties in meeting the needs of all your clients, let us know immediately. We'll work with you to identify solutions.
What should I do if I’m working with a client deemed at 'high-risk' of contracting COVID-19?
We're aware some of our clients may be at greater risk of complications from illnesses such as COVID-19. If you have any concerns related to an individual at-risk client, it's important you contact their recovery team member.
The Ministry of Health and the New Zealand Government continue to lead the response to COVID-19 and we'll follow their lead. You can find information for health professionals, including those providing home and community support services on the Ministry of Health website.
How does the requirement for mandatory vaccinations for care and support workers affect ACC funded providers?
If a care worker or home help provider is not employed by an agency, the obligation to be vaccinated will be their responsibility.
Please note that an amendment to the Public Health Order came into effect on 8 November 2021. All family care and support workers are now required to have had their first COVID-19 vaccination by 15 November 2021, and their second vaccination by 1 January 2022.
Does the threshold for obtaining prior approval from ACC combine face-to-face and Telehealth consultations?
Yes – introducing Telehealth doesn’t reset the number of treatments you can provide to zero. For example, where the threshold is 16 treatments, you’ll need prior approval for ongoing treatment after 12 face-to-face consultations and four Telehealth consultations.
If you work under the Cost of Treatment Regulations, you must track the total number of consultations for your client’s claim and request an extension if they need more than 16 treatments.
We’re monitoring this. Any treatment provided must be necessary and appropriate, and of the quantity and quality required to meet an injury-related need.
When invoicing us for services conducted via Telehealth please use the Telehealth service codes, even if face-to-face codes have been approved on a purchase order.
I’ve invoiced an initial face-to-face consultation, can I invoice for an initial Telehealth consultation for the same client?
No – if you started providing Telehealth services part way through your client’s treatment for injury, and the first Telehealth consultation with a client replaces a follow-up consultation, it’s a Telehealth follow-up.
How should we manage the impact on our service if a client or staff member is affected by COVID-19?
The Ministry of Health has developed guidelines for health professionals on its website and continues to regularly update this information. Use your business continuity plan to guide how you respond to significant business interruptions if you, or your organisation, have a contract with us.
If you're concerned about how an individual client is affected, whether they're infected, in contact with someone infected, or in self-isolation, contact their recovery team member. If you can't provide a service due to client illness, we ask that you keep the client's ACC recovery team member updated about rebooking. Your contract may have a 'did not attend' (DNA) fee that applies.
Will ACC pay us for clients who don't attend appointments because of COVID-19?
We've enabled the provision of one additional 'Did Not Attend' (DNA) allowance for services with a DNA provision within the standard terms of their contracts for any region in COVID-19 Orange or Red settings.
If you hold a contract with us, check the relevant clauses in your contract to see if a DNA fee is payable for clients who can't attend an agreed appointment. This will also tell you the requirements that need to be met for payment to be made.
Under the Cost of Treatment Regulations, there are currently no provisions to pay for clients who don't attend appointments.
Will ACC cover any extra costs of providing services due to COVID-19?
We don't currently have plans to provide funding beyond that specified in the Cost of Treatment Regulations or under the terms of your contract.
Will ACC fund extra Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) supplies for providers?
The Ministry of Health manages national PPE during COVID-19. The Ministry will work with District Health Boards (DHBs) to distribute the central supply.
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.
What if a client needs additional consumables because of COVID-19?
If a client has concerns about their wellbeing and feels extra consumables such as PPE may be necessary for their care, they can request a Telehealth assessment with a nurse from their contact at ACC.
We cannot supply PPE beyond what has already been provided for a client’s injury or recovery support.
Will ACC provide economic support for providers or suppliers?
There are several COVID-19 financial support schemes available for businesses, depending on your situation. These include:
- Resurgence Support Payment to help support businesses facing a reduction in revenue due to an alert level increase, administered by Inland Revenue
- Wage Subsidy Scheme, administered by Work and Income.
Can I refuse or decline referrals to treat unvaccinated clients in person?
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.
What professions fall under the Ministry of Health guidelines determining that services can’t be denied for unvaccinated clients?
The Ministry of Health defines health services as:
- a health service within the meaning of section 5(1) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003
- treatment or social rehabilitation provided under the Accident Compensation Act 2001
- disability support services within the meaning of section 6(1) of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000.
Most ACC services are covered by this definition, eg counselling is treatment, and vocational rehabilitation and social work for ACC clients are disability support services.
What happens if I need to move across different traffic light zones?
From 15 December 2021 to 17 January 2022 providers can leave Auckland if they have a My Vaccine Pass or evidence of a negative COVID-19 test. After 18 January 2022 there will be no restrictions on travel out of Auckland.
There are no other restrictions based on the traffic light settings however Air New Zealand requires passengers to have a My Vaccine Pass, or evidence of a negative test.