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Industry wants accreditation scheme for NSW rehab providers

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The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has proposed an accreditation process for rehabilitation providers in the NSW compulsory third party (CTP) scheme in a submission to the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA).

ICA also called for a focus on value and outcome-based rehabilitation practices that benefit injured people, mandate a requirement that rehabilitation consultants in CTP and workers’ compensation must have at least two years’ experience and revise the competency and skill-building framework with a focus towards delivery standards in the CTP scheme.

Promoting and encouraging innovation in the CTP scheme, surveying claimants and making public the reviews of accreditation providers for the CTP and workers’ compensation schemes are the other suggestions made by the ICA.

“The ICA and our insurer members believe that effective workers’ compensation and CTP schemes are characterised by improved recovery and return to work performance, a value and outcome-based policy framework and ensuring sustainable high-quality providers and easily accessible services,” the ICA submission said.

ICA says its proposals will support efforts to improve the policies and framework for rehabilitation providers in the NSW workers’ compensation and CTP schemes.

SIRA, which is responsible for the regulatory functions of the CTP and workers’ compensation schemes, is seeking inputs from stakeholders on the NSW policy and framework underpinning the approval, engagement and performance of workplace rehabilitation providers.

It says the consultation is focused on the decline in return to work rates following workplace injuries in the workers’ compensation scheme and that workplace rehabilitation services need to be outcome-focused.

The other areas of focus are reforms to the CTP scheme that were introduced less than three years ago. SIR says an opportunity exists to improve recovery and return to work goals and outcomes regardless of the scheme.

ICA says its proposal for an accreditation process in the CTP scheme will help improve the quality of care, streamline operations, reduce liability risks and provides areas of where there can be room for improvement.

Unlike the workers’ compensation scheme, workplace rehabilitation providers are undefined in the CTP legislation, which means mechanisms for approval of participants are not available.

“The accreditation process will provide standards and accountability that providers need to adhere to, one that insurers can rely on and that injured people can trust,” ICA said.

“The ICA suggests leveraging standards and approval mechanisms in NSW through the development of an accreditation process for the CTP scheme and reviewing the current requirements in the workers compensation scheme.”

Click here for the SIRA consultation paper.