ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
Acclaim Otago Press
5.30pm 15 April 2014
ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation for not signing the ACC 167 Form
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On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people.
On 16 February 2009, ACC developed a secret policy. This was a future strategy for managing long term claims.
It focused on fiscal measures that could be implemented to save ACC $900 million of future liability by the end of June 2013 (8.3, page 11) by refusing people with long term disability covered by ACC.
It noted a move away from improving trust and confidence in ACC towards “scheme liability, cost containment and value for money”. It suggested the development of non-compliance exits (7.19 diagram on page 9).
Two mechanisms were then developed to ensure that the strategy was implemented. One was a specific control objective whereby the performance of ACC branches were measured against whether or not they had a signed ACC167 form on each file. The other was a standard form letter so the branches could refuse claimants in accordance with their non-compliance policy when they would not sign an ACC167 form.
The Specific Control Objectives
The performance of an ACC branch would be audited against ACC’s specific control objectives. Points were assigned to the branch if all of the claims had an unaltered signed ACC167 on file.
The ACC NCO-03 non-compliance exit letter
These non-compliance exits were transferred into form letters, which ACC sent to clients who did not “reengage” with the new units. ACC called the non-compliance exit letter for not signing the ACC167 form a NCO-03. A further example was that the non-compliance letter for not attending the assessment as demanded by ACC as part of the “reengagement process” NCO-02.
ACC wrote to claimants telling them they were required to sign the form and threatening to stop their entitlements if they did not sign the form. ACC then sent the claimant the NCO-03 letter that stopped their entitlements and this was considered a successful exit from the ACC scheme.
ACC can identify each claimant that the letter was sent too
Comment from Acclaim Otago
“The documents show that ACC clearly had a strategy to exit claimants from the ACC scheme using a ‘non-compliance exit’” says Dr Powell.
“It is clear that this was successfully used between 2009 and now as part of ACC’s reduction in scheme liability” Dr Powell states.
“Despite ACC’s public statement that this was not about refusing people, their strategy and policy documents shows that this is exactly what has occurred” adds Dr Powell.