Occupational Health Society of Australia (WA Branch)
Seminar 31 October 2013
Long Duration Claims and Delays in Return to Work - What can be done about it?
Prompt return-to-work is essential to the health and welfare of injured workers.
A seminar to address long duration worker’s compensation claims – their increasing incidence and duration – was held on Thursday 31 October. The objective of the seminar was to establish whether, and in what ways, the current process can be improved
Summary of Presentations
A brief summary of papers presented.
Long Duration Claims - Overview of Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management
Mr Chris White, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Legislation and Scheme Information, WorkCover WA
Long Duration Claims - Statistics
Ms Leona Glasby, Manager Research and Evaluation, Legislation and Scheme Information,
Long Duration Claims - A Public Sector Snapshot
Ms Linda Thompson, RiskCover Services Manager, RiskCover WA
Role of the Insurance Sector in Achieving Prompt Return-to-work
Mr Craig Stewart, State Claims Manager WA, CGU
Rehabilitation and Return-to-Work
Ms Michelle Butler, President, Australian Rehabilitation Providers' Association (WA)
Regional Manager WA, SA & NT, The Recovre Group
The Role of GPs in Return-to-Work Programs
Dr Dilip Sharma, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (WA)
Workers' Compensation Working Group
Notes from the meeting 15 August 2013
Pre-reading material for the meeting.
What is the cause of the continuing escalation in long duration claims at a time when the total number of claims is either stable or in mild decline?
Why is the cost of long duration claims continuing to escalate in a period of non-inflation?
82% of premiums paid are absorbed by long duration claims and, in particular, those of 180 days or more.
Since 2007/08 the cost has increased by $100m or 22.27%.
Given the range of support/treatment services available why are injured persons not being returned to work earlier?
Are there bottlenecks in the system?
Is there a particular class of claims that pose problems?
Are mental disease claims having a negative effect?
Are the interests of individuals being respected/protected?
(Have any surveys been conducted/or should there be?)
Is there an alternative mechanism available to ensure long duration claims are being treated promptly and in a co-ordinated way?
How can we find out what, if anything, is going amiss?
Possible Seminar Objectives
To establish whether those persons with claims of potential long duration are receiving prompt, appropriate and co-ordinated treatment; or
To determine whether there is a timely co-ordinated approach to coordinate the treatment and return to work of injured claimants.
To determine why long duration claimants are experiencing increasingly longer periods before return to work.