icare announces new claims service providers for workers compensation scheme
Today, Insurance and Care NSW (icare) announced the selection of six Claim Service Providers to manage claims in the Nominal Insurer (NI) scheme.
Following wide consultation on a new claims model and a comprehensive tender process, Allianz, Employers Mutual Limited (EML), DXC, Gallagher Bassett (GB), GIO, and QBE have been appointed to manage claims for the NSW NI workers compensation scheme.
Minister for Finance Damien Tudehope said this is a significant milestone in the program to improve workers compensation and the next step in a major reset of the scheme that will improve outcomes for injured workers, give employers greater choice, and increase financial sustainability over time.
“This new model is about improving performance and care for injured workers alongside greater support for employers,” Mr Tudehope said.
“Appointing this mix of quality claims service providers builds new capability and capacity in the system and is a key step towards providing a more specialised response to the growing incidence of psychological injury.”
Demonstrating the strong focus on psychological claims, icare is also exploring the future appointment of a dedicated psychological claims provider to deliver innovative and targeted psychological claims services. icare is also establishing an internal team that will develop and trial new approaches to psychological claims that can then be rolled out to all claim service providers.
icare CEO and Managing Director Richard Harding said improving outcomes for injured workers is the top priority for icare and highlighted the importance of addressing the growing number of psychological claims.
“When it comes to supporting those with psychological injuries it’s important to understand the vastly different challenges they face,” Mr Harding said.
“Four providers will provide specialist psychological claims capability as well as general injury claims capability. We’ll also bolster our approach to psychological claims management with an internal team dedicated to improving psychological claims outcomes and potential additional appointments to our provider panel in the future.
“In addition to uplifting the management of psychological claims, the new contracts will also enable icare to drive better performance through competition via publicly reporting provider results and making it easier for businesses to choose a provider who can give their injured worker the best care.”
Subject to contract execution, the changes will be progressively implemented from early 2023, with more details to be provided over coming months.
Contracts with current Claims Service Providers Allianz, EML, GIO, and QBE, will end on 31 December 2022 and the new contracts will commence on 1 January 2023.
The new contracts will be for 10 years, subject to provider performance. Further providers may be brought on to the panel at a future date.
Considering feedback from a range of stakeholders and lessons from past experience, the changes will be rolled out at a measured pace over the next two years to minimise the impact on injured workers and employers.
This implementation aligns with the measured and staged approach recommended by the McDougall Review.
The new claims model is part of an extensive improvement program underway at icare. It builds on actions that have already occurred including recruitment of more case managers to improve support, piloting a ‘first response’ service for small to medium employers that support early return to work planning, and launching of a Professional Standards Framework that provides case managers with learning and career pathways to further strengthen industry-wide capability, expertise and capacity.