ACC's priorities wrong, critics say
Fri, 22 Jun 2012 8:39a.m.
ACC claimant advocates say the corporation is obsessed with balancing its books and rehabilitating accident victims comes second.
They aren't surprised by revelations that case managers are paid bonuses to get people off the scheme.
Green Party MP Kevin Hague released documents on Thursday showing case managers have specific targets and their pay is tied to achieving those targets.
ACC Minister Judith Collins has confirmed that but says it is an incentive to get people back to work, which is a good thing.
Accident compensation lawyer John Miller says it is just another example of wrong priorities.
"Instead of rehabilitating people properly they get rid of them in a quick and dirty way just to make the books balance," he said on Friday.
"They're ending up on welfare benefits and ACC is protecting its coffers by shifting people anywhere they can."
The ACC Futures Coalition says the bonus scheme explains why some case managers are harsh and insensitive.
Spokeswoman Hazel Armstrong says Ms Collins must review everyone who has been taken off the scheme in the past year.
"What I believe she will find is that people who are declared to be `vocationally independent' are not actually in work, or are on an invalids benefit, or are working part-time."
ACC chief executive Ralph Stewart, who resigned last week and is leaving at the end of the month, says all the critics are wrong.
"No one can leave ACC unless they are rehabilitated first, it's not the other way around," he said on Radio New Zealand.
"The bonus recognises that the underlying driver for ACC is the quality of rehabilitation. The care of clients comes first."
Mr Stewart confirmed the number of long-term claimants had been reduced since the last election.
There were 11,615 in November last year and now there are about 10,500.
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30/06/2012 6:18:40 a.m.
How fun i find this, they public say rehabilitation ect, yet i left the country to go home to cut a long and very serious reason. They would not pay for any equipment nore rehabilitation costs even thou they do not have the therapy over in nz. our daughter is only 13 she was damaged at birth, we basically had to except as it was there legislation that we have attendant care only that is it thats all we got for our little girls serious injury. no other help, but because i had no body here i went home to the UK. now 6 months ago they cut it all together, used pathetic excuses and then put it under s68 which means we have no right to review. So that was that. its discusting
26/06/2012 3:45:46 p.m.
Acc and its aligned clinicians and medical report writers are an ethical injustice on a sickening scale.The unsavory practice of allowing corruption outcomes for cash is alive and vile.
Acc is a mess and sadly bent and broken with capital greed for all willing to align to its objectives.
25/06/2012 3:28:35 p.m.
ACC Treat all claimants like Fraudsters, even if you try to have a normal life and do some occasion activitys, there philosophy and culture needs to change real quickly, otherwise they cause havoc and destroy peoples lifes.
Whoeva doubts that ACC are not destroying peoples lifes by twisting and making up there own stories, these often come from people in the public, or people who dont understand people that have disabilities that are not visable like a Brain Injurie, or external agents ACC use like Private Investigators that make Medical Assumptions about a ACC claimant etc.
Getting Injured was not my fault, its not something i would wish on any one in this Country, because your battle with ACC will make your injurie worse.
I thought ACC was made to help us???? yet it undermines us.
25/06/2012 10:50:32 a.m.
ACC (A COMPLETE COCK-UP). After over twenty years since suffering a serious injury. Proven beyond doubt. Even ACC specialists agreed that the accident had caused a 45% injury. My husband is still waiting for ACC to offer him any form of rehabilitation. Despite, regular Needs Assessments by "independent" assessors(How they can be "independent" whilst being paid by ACC is beyond me), he has never been offered any suggestions to retrain for any work. He did have apart-time job but after fifteen years he had to stop work owing to complications with his health. Since then ACC have been trying to tell us that he is now independent, does not need daily help etc.,. Perhaps it might be because he is soon to go onto super as he is 65. How we will cope without help I can't imagine. My husband and I were advised at a very early stage by a top specialist and professor that had my husband had his accident in the USA then he could have named his own figure for compensation. I am the first to agree that the USA system is way out of control but here in NZ, having had the right to sue taken away, so called for a system that would offer 'real compensation" my husband received only $10000 lump sum payment. No doubt, an ACC staff member will offer an answer to my comments via this column as part of the campaign to get people off the books. As for myself and my husband we can at least lie straight in bed at night with clear consciences. It isn't hard to pick the comments in this column.
25/06/2012 6:53:06 a.m.
Unless critical medical assessments are conducted by a truly impartial medical/ethical council - there will continue to be breaches of natural justice against claimants. Currently ACC has absolute power to choose assessors from their hand picked subset of highly paid doctors who are acting as judge and jury on behalf of ACC with no accountability.
This is the smoking gun, look closely at these assessors and the level of corruption and callousness that ACC has stooped too is laid bare.
24/06/2012 7:45:36 a.m.
@To Mike - so your a pro-frauder?Insurance companies investigate more insurance fraud than police, and when they discover fraud they first look to end it, and in the worst cases - they take those to police.The police dont have the man-power or money to investigate everything. They give civil cases a very low priority so basically you need to do the major leg work with proven guilt before the police will even look at a civil case. Police consentrate on criminal justice, not civil justice.The worst treated by ACC aren't those with serius injuries as serious injuries are easier to identify. The worst treated are the self-employeed. But then most of NZ has never worked for themselves and had to deal with ACC in this manner. ACC treatment of seriuos injury claims probably a 7/10 as they still provide a pretty good service all things considered, and for a price. Take how ACC treats self employeed and its more like a 4/10 which is much worse. Doctors are one of the problems of ACC as their accountability is low. How much effort is needed for a doctor to sign off on an ACC claim? A quick sribble? The doctors also have a vested interest in ACC as they get paid by ACC, ie they want more paid out and more to themselves. We have had billions of ACC fraud here in NZ with doctors heavily involved throughout the process.Often ACC is used as an excuse not to work. Yes an accident may affect work. But in many cases instead of getting on with life, its an excuse to just collect ACC. Take John Kirwan as an example who had debilating depression. He could have gone along to a doctor and had them sign-off that he was unfit to work and file an ACC claim forever. Like many illnesses/injuries, one still needs to take personal responsibility and move on. Or as John Kiwan says on the adverts 'Living with Depression' and talks more about getting on with your life than sitting on your backside asking for handouts!
23/06/2012 10:29:20 a.m.
To Mike wrote:
"We do need agressive case managers to help stamp out fraud. "
Fraud is the job of the police, not ACC Case Managers. The Bronwyn Pullar case shows how wrong and corrupt ACC Managers - and top management - can be. ACC Case Managers are only in it for themselves, and treat claimants - especially those with serious injuries - with contempt.
23/06/2012 8:57:21 a.m.
ACC is basically an insurance for NZ health.Given this, health insurance fraud is a huge industry world wide - even huge here in NZ. Its not been hard to have a doctor rubberstamp ACC claims with often unprovable claims. If not for how freely doctors dump stuff on ACC, we wouldn't need such agressive case managers.We do need agressive case managers to help stamp out fraud. Even with agressive case managers, much fruad still gets through. Yes it means if you have a legitimate claim, its often hard work to get paid. Yes the case managers have a narrow focus. But compare it to ordinary health insurance and you will find that dealing with ordinary health insurance providers is not a lot different.ACC still caters to a market, and this market does not look after the self employeed well. The self employeed are the worst covered by ACC in NZ. In many ways the option of taking cover with a private insurer (cover for employyees, including self employeed) like we had about 13 years back actually cleaned up ACC as it made ACC start to provide service to NZ with some accountability. But then accountability is something Labour never wanted, so we are back to 100% compulsory ACC and some of their bad habits again which are worst for the self employeed.Those against agressive case managers would prefer ACC costs blow out with fraud than to have investigators. Its pro-crime more than pro-health.
22/06/2012 9:38:05 p.m.
question I would like answered is:How many of the people got real jobs and how many are just put on the sickness benefit?
22/06/2012 7:25:27 p.m.
Acc don't care about people they're only worried by the bottom dollar, I have been fighting them for 16 months they will pay for medications and surgery which i still require but wont help with weekly compensation, and a lot of us are not entitled to any other benefit because our partner works. As far as they are concerned what they say is LAW
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