As of 1 September 2017, the single system for visits for tax purposes (Polo unico per le visite fiscali) came into effect, whereby health inspection visits (Visite Mediche di Controllo, VMC) were placed exclusively under the remit of the INPS. These visits are made either on claim of the employer (public or private) or automatically (Message No 3265 of 9 August 2017).
Private employers and public institutes can claim a health inspection visit to verify the health conditions of dependent workers on sick leave using the appropriate service online
The online service for claiming a home or in-clinic health inspection visit is aimed at public and private employers, including employers with dependent workers who are not required to pay contributions to fund the sick pay granted by the institute.
Access login details and specific authorisation are required to be able to use the service. Both public and private employers will need to claim login details. Staff with these access login details must also be specifically authorised to use the service for claiming health inspection visits (INPS Circular No 60 of 16 April 2010, INPS Circular No 119 of 7 September 2010 and INPS Circular No 118 of 12 September 2011).
Employers with staff who have not been authorised yet to use the service must submit the following documents to the competent regional INPS office:
- claim form, filled out and signed by the private employer themselves or by their legal representative (for civil servants or employers organised in associate or cooperate form), with a copy of the signatory's identity document and each individual claim form;
- individual claim form, filled out and signed by each authorised employee, stating the login details to access the 'Claiming health inspection visits' online service, with a photocopy of the signatory's identity document.
Claims for health inspection visits may be made for a single worker and for a single visit at any one time, or for multiple workers by uploading an XML file, following the diagram provided within the procedure itself.
The online service also lets users check the status of claims sent, as well as the outcome of medical examinations.
All claims for health inspection visits are to be sent to the INPS using the online service only.
Public employers are provided with a service that will automatically check whether or not a particular public institute falls under the remit of the single system, so that if it does, the institute does not issue an invoice to claim reimbursement when following up the claim for a health inspection visit or the visit itself.
If the public institute does not fall under the remit of the single system, the public institute concerned can still declare, under its own responsibility, its status as a public employer that falls within the scope of the legislation on the single system.
Nothing has changed for public institutes that do not fall within the addressees targeted by the legislation or for private employers, which may continue to claim health inspection visits using the customary procedures, thereby reimbursing expenses incurred by the institute.
In the event that a worker is required to be absent (to go to a specialist doctor's appointment, for example) from the address indicated as their contact address on the electronic illness certificate, the public institute must timely inform the INPS using one of the following channels:
- by sending an email to certifying email@example.com;
- by sending a specific notice to the fax number of the regional office in question;
- by contacting the contact centre.
Civil servants must provide documents to justify the aforementioned absence to their employing public institute only, for the competence to be then assessed.
Furthermore, in instances where the worker's home and contact address subsequently changes from the one stated in the electronic illness certificate, and whilst awaiting ministerial instructions to the contrary, which will be provided shortly, the public institute must immediately inform the INPS using the same channels as those indicated above.
If the health inspector finds that a civil servant is not present at their home address (for a health inspection visit claimed by the employer or arranged by the institute), the worker will be asked to come to an in-clinic appointment at the competent regional INPS office to undergo assessment by a medical examiner.
Whilst complying with privacy laws for the processing of sensitive data, information and assessments made by the medical examiner on health documentation provided to justify the worker's absence at the health inspection visit are also made available to public employers. Public employers are however responsible for assessing any non-medical or non-health-related justifications for a worker being absent.