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icare publishes reform progress dashboard

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NSW state insurer icare says at least 70% of activity to address recommended improvements made by a number of reviews is underway, and it has identified 463 past workers’ compensation claims with underpayments totalling $3.87 million.

The insurer is giving all workers who received weekly payments between October 2012 and October 2019 the opportunity to have sums reassessed and any underpayments rectified.

icare’s October dashboard reveals 84% of activity in progress to address recommendations from independent reviewer Robert McDougall’s report, as was 85% of activity to address recommendations from an independent review by PwC of icare governance, accountability, and culture (GAC) and 70% of activity responding to other review recommendations.

icare has sent 232,637 letters or emails after 12,889 reviews of Pre-Injury Average Weekly Earnings (PIAWE), generating 14,924 enquiries. It also says 1194 Treasury Managed Fund claims have been reassessed, finding 745 incorrect calculations, of which 448 were overdeterminations and have no payment owed. So far, four claims with underpayments totalling $75,482 have been quantified.

“Verification of our progress will be undertaken by an independent assurer. The first report will be an assessment of our progress, available in early 2022. Ongoing, these independent assurer reports will be made available here on our website, which will include progress and confirmation of completed actions,” icare said.

Deloitte has been engaged to review the process and a cross-agency steering committee consisting of the State Insurance Regulatory Authority, Treasury and icare is overseeing the remediation program.

icare first notified SIRA early last year of errors in weekly payment calculations in a sample of closed workers’ compensation claims. The errors were found during a review to test the accuracy of the PIAWE calculation.

icare says its Board has taken action to improve the operation of icare across all the schemes it manages, particularly workers' compensation, including by improving risk and governance amid improving performance, especially return-to-work rates, and driving an accountable culture.

“This is a significant undertaking for icare and KPMG has supported us with the delivery of this extensive program. To help icare succeed, KPMG is assisting icare to refine the program structure and activities to deliver on our commitments. Further enhancements continue to be implemented,” it said.

A communications campaign to encourage eligible injured workers to request a reassessment has included radio, digital and print advertising, as well as the direct letters and emails.