Insurance and Care NSW (icare) has introduced a number of changes to its workers’ compensation claims management, which include the establishment of a new industry consultative group and a new tender for claims providers to be opened in 2021.
The workers’ compensation consultative group is called the Nominal Insurer Advisory Committee. It includes unions, industry groups, and government bodies, who will first meet in early December, and will be central to informing adjustments to claims services moving forward.
“Getting people back to work and life after injury as soon as possible is paramount. We recognise that claims management services to injured workers and employers have not always met expectations and needs to change,” said Don Ferguson, interim chief executive officer of icare.
“This will augment wider industry and customer consultation that commenced this month and will continue into the New Year.”
Rob Craig, group executive of personal injury at icare, said the changes would cover the operations of claims management and the delivery of claims services to injured workers, leading to a tender in mid-2021.
“The tender will be informed by the outcomes of the consultation period, which will include an assessment of the appropriate number of claims service providers,” Craig said.
The company has also extended its Service Provider Agreement with EML for 12 months to ensure continuity and stability during the industry consultation and tendering processes.
The agreement includes a $20 million targeted investment program and contains claims service changes – including reduced caseloads and team sizes, increased on-the-job training resources, a move of decision rights and management of some legal matters to EML, and changes to triage to ensure claims that require more support have a dedicated case manager.
“These changes are supported by a modified performance framework for EML to enable better return-to-work and customer outcomes, including a direct link between improved performance, customer outcomes and remuneration,” said Craig.