icare releases claims data in bid to boost transparency

NSW’s public sector insurer icare has released a cache of claims performance data showing which reveal the adverse, though short-term, impact of technology implementations on claims resolution and processing times.
 

The first of what will be a monthly data drop by icare provides metrics on claimants’ return-to-work (RTW) rates, timeliness in liability decisions, active claims in process, and claim payments rates across each month, as well as variations in the company's Net Promoter Score (NPS) – considered a key measure of customer experience and satisfaction. 

The release of the data is part of a key commitment by the company to create “a fairer and more transparent workers insurance scheme”. 

Major technological implementations across the 20-month survey period appear to have negatively impacted claims processing times over the short term; however, these were figures quickly recovered over the following months, with a commensurate rise in NPS, the data reveal.

The latest figures, released on 1 November, have shown a seven per cent drop in the return to work (RTW) rate across the 20-month survey period (January 2018 to August 2019), with the insurer attributing the decline to “challenges embedding our new operational model, including achieving the right scale with our new claims partner”. 
 
While icare’s employer NPS score remains firmly in the negative (standing at -17 as of September this year, from a low of -31 in May), rates have improved considerably over the last four recorded months, jumping by an impressive 43 per cent. icare said the improvement was the result of a “remediation of outstanding wages and a backlog reduction" which accelerated response times. The NPS from its 'injured worker' category has remained at a consistently high +20 since January 2018. 
 
Liability decision timeliness, while generally exceeding the insurer’s 95 per cent target rate, experienced two notable periods of decline over the survey period (between January to February 2018 and February to March 2019), which icare attributed to teething problems resulting from new technology implementations.  

Active claims remained steady across the year, averaging between 38,000 and 40,000 per month. An increase in active claims between May and July this year was again attributed to a "major technology upgrade" in February 2019, as well as “normal seasonal differences" which resulted in a backlog in payments. 
 
icare said it will continue to release monthly data on its website as well as provide accompanying articles to explain the insurer’s claims management performance.  
 
“A better understanding of this claims management data provides our stakeholders with greater transparency into the performance of the workers insurance scheme in NSW,” the company said.