Message from the Chair & Chief Executive
This year the COVID-19 pandemic introduced unforeseen challenges and SIRA responded by safeguarding its people and rapidly adapting SIRA policies and services. SIRA implemented amendments to legislation, accelerated the facilitation of telehealth services, and prepared the workers compensation system to respond to COVID-19 claims.
SIRA recently marked the third anniversary of the introduction of the 2017 motor accidents CTP scheme which has delivered more affordable Green Slips, faster benefits to injured road users, and increased competition through a new insurer entering the market.
The workers compensation scheme has operated under an environment of heightened scrutiny. SIRA has continued to focus on the supervision and performance of regulated entities and has taken significant steps to drive improved performance.
In the home building compensation scheme, SIRA has worked actively to assist a review by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal. The recently released final report has recommended changes to improve efficiency and encourage competition, laying the groundwork for reforms from 2021.
Moving into the new year, SIRA remains focused on monitoring and enforcing insurance legislation in NSW and ensuring that the insurance schemes it regulates deliver the desired outcomes and meet community expectations.
As we approach the end of a challenging year, we would like to wish all our customers and subscribers a safe and joyful festive season, and we look forward to working with you in the New Year.
Trevor Matthews, Chair & Carmel Donnelly, Chief Executive
Healthcare review final report
SIRA has published the final report into its Review of Regulatory Requirements for Healthcare Arrangements in the NSW workers compensation and CTP schemes.
Healthcare costs account for more than $1 billion each year in SIRA’s personal injury schemes, and this review aimed to ensure that injured people have access to the right healthcare, at the right time, for optimal recovery and return to work.
The review outlines the next steps forward, including the implementation of SIRA’s health outcomes framework to progress the schemes towards value-based care.
Submissions to two consultations that form part of this review have also been published on the SIRA website:
- Revised workers compensation guidelines for allied health treatment and hearing service provision:
- Health outcomes framework for the NSW workers compensation and motor accident injury/compulsory third party schemes
SIRA will provide a further update in February 2021 on how you can be involved in implementation of the healthcare review’s findings.
Recovery boost participants
SIRA recently announced the recipients of the second round of Recovery Boost grants, which will collectively receive more than $500,000 in grants for innovative solutions to improve mental health recovery at work.
Eleven organisations received up to $50,000 each to help their workplaces reduce the impact of mental health issues and improve recovery.
The programs included ideas related to peer support programs, mental health coaching, virtual platforms and training, and a mental health literacy podcast series.
You can find out more about the recipients on the Mental Health at Work website.
Workers compensation fees orders in 2021
On 1 January 2021, the following updated workers compensation fees orders take effect:
- Workers Compensation (Hearing Aid Fees) Order 2021
- Workers Compensation (Psychology and Counselling Fees) Order 2021
- Workers Compensation (Physiotherapy, Chiropractic and Osteopathy Fees) Order 2021
- Workers Compensation (Massage Therapy Fees) Order 2021
- Workers Compensation (Medical Practitioner Fees) Order 2021
- Workers Compensation (Surgeon Fees) Order 2021
- Workers Compensation (Orthopaedic Surgeon Fees) Order 2021
The hearing; physiotherapy, chiropractic and osteopathy; and psychology and counselling fees will be published on the SIRA website in a new format. The Fees and Practice Requirements will provide simpler information on fees, billing and approval processes that is easier for providers to understand and follow. SIRA will consider expanding this format to other fees orders in 2022.
The following fees orders will not be updated on 1 January 2021, and the existing fees orders remain in force:
- Workers Compensation (Accredited Exercise Physiology Fees) Order 2020 No. 3
- Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation (Injury Management Consultants Fees) Order 2020 No. 2
- Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation (Medical Examinations and Reports Fees) Order 2020 No. 2
- Workers Compensation (Independent Consultants Fees) Order 2020 No.3
All workers compensation fees will be available on the SIRA website from 4 January 2021.
SIRA will further review all its workers compensation fees orders in 2021 and may make further updates.
CTP animations now available in community languages
SIRA’s CTP animations have been translated into a range of languages to make them more accessible to the community.
You can now access the legal advisory service, CTP Assist and personal injury benefits animations in Arabic, Cantonese, Korean and Vietnamese:
- What is CTP Assist?
- CTP Legal Advisory Service
- Apply for personal injury benefits
- These animations can also be viewed on the SIRA YouTube channel
SIRA will have more translated animations available in 2021.
New personal injury research
The SIRA website has been updated with new personal injury research from a recent seminar from the John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research.
The seminar showcased papers on personal injury research from the last 12 months, including on topics such as neurological recovery and brain function; physiotherapy guidelines for spinal injury; opioid use; chronic pain; pre-injury vulnerability; and long-term health outcomes following motor vehicle accidents.
You can view a captioned recording of the seminar and the papers.
The Personal Injury Commission Regulation 2020
The Personal Injury Commission Regulation 2020 is now available on the NSW Legislation website.
You can also keep updated on news about the Personal Injury Commission as it moves towards implementation on 1 March 2021, by subscribing to its newsletter.
Updated Motor Accidents Guidelines
The Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 Motor Accidents Guidelines Version 6 is now available online.
Our offices will be closed from Friday 25 December 2020 and will reopen on Monday 11 January 2021.
You can continue to contact SIRA’s Customer Experience team during this period (excluding public holidays) on 1300 656 919 for any CTP enquiries or on 13 10 50 for workers compensation and home building enquiries. You can also email us at email@example.com.