Treatment Profiles Launch

  • Marie Hasler
Associate Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance


Good morning everyone.

As we all know, the Accident Insurance Act 1998 takes effect on the first of July this year.

The new Act means employers need to arrange a contract for workplace insurance with an insurer of their choice.

Non-work injuries will continue to be covered by ACC and self-employed people can choose either to stay with ACC for both work and non-work injuries, or arrange cover with an insurer of their choice.

The focus of the new Act is to create the right incentives for insurers, including ACC, to achieve the best recovery outcomes in the most responsive way.

This move should see improvements made to reduce the number of injuries in the workplace and, where people are injured, to make sure they receive the right treatment so they recover as quickly as possible.

This legislation aims to improve the workplace environment for all New Zealanders and bring down our currently all too high statistics of death and injury.

Last year alone 173 New Zealanders went off to work and never came home - tragically, inexcusably, killed at work. During the same period some 88,000 New Zealanders received ACC entitlements for work-related injuries.

Estimates see work-related injuries alone costing this country some $4.2 billion a year. That's $16.5 million every 24 hours. Or, a million dollars every one and a half hours.

This is a massive waste - not just in ACC claims, but also in lost production, the training of replacement workers, as well as the loss of goodwill and staff morale.

And beyond measure, is the tragic cost of lost lives, lost livelihoods and lost quality of life.

The new legislation means insurers will focus on case and claims management which will flow on to health providers and their clients.

Greater focus is being placed on:

ensuring rehabilitation closely matches claimants' needs and is outcome focussed
improving rehabilitation services to injured people.
ACC has developed a number of tools for achieving better outcomes. Today we are launching the latest of these - the treatment profiles.

The treatment profiles set clear expectations for treatment and recovery times for 150 common injury types, which Dr Rankin will tell you more about.

The profiles are not rigid prescriptive instructions that treatment providers must follow. What they do is offer guidelines for appropriate treatment in normal circumstances. They also outline the likely recovery time for each injury.

These profiles are not intended to be a substitute for clinical judgement. They provide a basis for informed discussion with other providers for an injured person's care; and particularly for case managers who have the job of motivating injured people throughout their rehabilitation.

The legislative changes, and the new tools ACC has developed to manage the length and nature of an injured person's rehabilitation, have one aim - the fastest possible recovery of an injured person enabling them to get back to work or independence as soon as possible.

By establishing a framework right from the start these treatment profiles will make rehabilitation more effective and easier for both injured people and health providers. Injured people will know that the treatment they are getting is the best possible to meet their needs and has a clear rehabilitation focus.
these internationally endorsed treatment profiles. ACC's planned new subsidiary company, ACC HealthWise, will be responsible for developing the profiles further.

Congratulations to ACC and everybody involved in producing these profiles.

I am confident all injured New Zealanders will benefit from their use.