SIRA launches dashboard for workers’ comp and healthcare costs

SIRA launches dashboard for workers’ comp and healthcare costs | Insurance Business Australia

SIRA launches dashboard for workers’ comp and healthcare costs

With healthcare costs exceeding $1 billion every year, the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) has published a new dashboard on healthcare costs and outcomes in the workers' compensation and CTP schemes in Australia.

This new reporting mechanism, developed after SIRA's healthcare review to better understand the drivers of rising healthcare costs in Australia, will provide a transparent account of utilisation, costs, and performance trends in the industry.

In the 2019/20 financial year, healthcare costs in workers' compensation grew by only 0.75%, most likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic – slowing a trend in place since 2016 which saw healthcare costs gr0w at an inflation-adjusted rate of 12% each year.

Meanwhile, allied health services remained the fastest-growing healthcare service in workers' compensation, with their expenditure seeing a 10% increase in the year to 2019/20.

Read more: SIRA reviews authorised health practitioner framework

The report also showed changes in healthcare costs in the 2017 CTP scheme, noting a 37% increase in 2019/20 – an expected growth as more claims are added to the scheme every year. However, during the same period, the average cost per healthcare service in CTP decreased by 3.4%.

Similar to the workers' compensation scheme, access and use of healthcare services in the 2017 CTP scheme took a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, SIRA clarified that it is still challenging to draw conclusions on healthcare trends as the scheme is only on its third year of operation.

SIRA will continue to publish updated healthcare dashboards each quarter.