NSW state-owned company, icare, has launched a tender for the purchase of claims handling services under the nominal insurer’s workers’ compensation scheme.
Finance and Employee Relations Minister Damien Tudehope said the tender followed wide consultation on a new complaints model, which included a market survey of potential service providers, a government website survey; and interviews and focus groups with injured workers, companies, unions, industry groups, service providers and the community.
‘The aim is to improve claims management, providing easier and better care for injured workers and support for employers,’ Mr Tudehope said today.
“icare has listened to the needs and concerns of stakeholders and is taking steps to evolve and improve the way workers’ compensation claims in NSW are handled. This consultation will continue throughout the bidding process and as the new claims model takes shape. »
According to Mr. Tudehope, the intention is to include more roles for service providers, encourage different providers and specialist skills, increase transparency of provider performance and offer greater choice to employers at the over time.
This will lead to better outcomes for injured workers and businesses through competition, he says.
The tender process follows the latest 12-month extension of icare’s existing supplier contracts, which will ensure stability during the tender process, the government said.
Successful candidates will begin their new duties on January 1 next year.
Suppliers intending to bid on a contract will receive procurement details as part of a privacy deed survey. The notification was made available on the NSW Government E-Tender website, with submissions due by April 15.
“The new model aims to create a competitive marketplace, enabling choice, innovation and continuous improvement to support injured workers and employers,” icare CEO Richard Harding said today.
“We are looking for improved performance for case managers, specialist claims service providers and we are targeting performance incentives to achieve better results. »
The market research undertaken last year aimed to increase icare’s understanding of the capabilities and experience available in providing workers’ compensation and injury claims management services.
Respondents were invited to make submissions outlining key skills in service offerings, digital and innovation capabilities, experience in claims management and related services, while providing opinions on prospects and industry trends.
EML was named the sole workers’ compensation agent for new claims under a contract beginning in January 2018, when icare controversially went from five plan agents to one. Allianz, GIO and QBE were later named approved suppliers for large enterprises.