Referring a patient for rehabilitation

If your patient is ready for the next steps in their recovery, you can refer them to one of our rehabilitation programmes. You’ll need to get pre-approval from us first.

On this page

    Talk to us if you think your patient needs further treatment before they start a rehabilitation programme. You may need to get pre-approval.

    Getting pre-approval for treatment

    Rehabilitation programmes

    We have various rehabilitation programmes that can help your patient with their recovery. This is only for injuries we cover.

    Returning to the job they had before their injury

    We have a stay at work programme to help your patient get back to their same job. If they need this help, let us know when you complete their ACC18 medical certificate.

    Recovering from a traumatic brain injury

    We have concussion services to help patients with head knocks and brain injuries. You’ll need to complete an ACC883 referral form.

    ACC883a Concussion service criteria
    ACC883 Concussion service referral

    If your patient is a child under 15 years

    If you're referring a child or adolescent to the concussion service, you'll need to complete the ACC7412 referral form.

    ACC7412 Concussion service referral for a child or adolescent

    Find concussion service providers

    Search our regional list to find a concussion service provider near you.

    Concussion service providers

    Help managing pain from their injury

    ACC's pain management services have been designed for patients who have:

    • persistent pain lasting three months or more as a result of the covered injury and which is not resolving within normal clinical expectations
    • a Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) diagnosis.

    Patients will need to be referred for a pain management services triage assessment to determine the appropriate clinical pathway, which may include an ACC-funded pain management service or other alternative services.

    Referrals can be made by GPs, rongoā practitioners or another registered health professional currently providing services to the patient.

    You need to complete an ACC6273 referral form.

    ACC6273 Provider referral for pain management

    Find a pain management service supplier in your area.

    List of pain management service suppliers

    Help at home, with childcare and education services

    Let us know if your patient needs help at home, with childcare or education when you complete their ACC18 medical certificate.

    Psychology services

    If your patient needs a referral to a psychology service, you'll need to ask their recovery team to do this. They may need to organise a psychiatric, neuropsychological or other specialised assessment before they can ask for a referral.

    Nursing services

    Nursing services are provided: 

    • to patients who have covered injuries under the Regulations 
    • through contracted nursing services.

    Contracted nursing services

    Patients whose needs can’t be met by their primary care teams can make use of contracted nursing services. For example a patient with reduced mobility or a patient with severe or complex injuries.  

    Contracted nursing services can only be provided on referral and aren’t influenced by patient preference or convenience.

    Other rehabilitation services

    We offer a range of other services. If you want another rehabilitation service for your patient, ask their recovery team.

    We are trialling a new service for patients with non-acute shoulder, knee and lower-back injuries. Escalated Care Pathways (ECP) will start rolling out across New Zealand from late 2019.

    Innovative new treatment pathways for injured New Zealanders

    Getting pre-approval for a rehabilitation programme

    To apply for pre-approval for your patient, you can:

    • ask their recovery team to make a referral
    • complete the right rehabilitation referral form
    • let us know the help they need on the ACC18 medical certificate.

    Send the form and other notes to your patient's case owner

    To help your patient get the rehabilitation they need as soon as possible, give their recovery team as much detail as you can. This includes their:

    • rehabilitation referral form
    • ACC18 medical certificate
    • treatment plan
    • relevant patient notes.

    Sending patient notes

    We’ll let you know our decision

    If we approve your request for rehabilitation, the rehabilitation service will contact your patient or their recovery team. You can then arrange the appointment dates and times.

    If we decline your patient's referral

    We’ll send you a letter if we decline your patient's referral to a rehabilitation programme. The most common reasons are:

    • the information was incorrect, or there wasn't enough on the referral form
    • the rehabilitation programme isn't suitable in helping your patient's recovery.

    Next steps

    If you want us to take another look at our decision, you can send us any medical evidence or other relevant information to support your referral.

    We'll be in touch to let you know our decision and the next steps for your patient.

    Contact us

    If you need help with a rehabilitation referral or to find the right rehabilitation service, contact us.

    Phone 0800 222 070 (Monday to Friday, 8:30am - 5pm)

    Last published: 7 June 2022