Disputes in compensation systems cause considerable stress and associated health impacts to claimants and other stakeholders. Furthermore, dispute resolution processes impose considerable costs on the compensation scheme itself.
The aim of this project was to identify testable strategies to improve workers’ compensation claims management and reduce the number of claims requiring dispute resolution.
Findings in this project are based on the outcomes of a forum that addressed three key questions:
- What are the influences on claims management in the Victorian workers’ compensation system?
- What are key issues within the Victorian workers’ compensation system that need to be addressed to improve the claims process?
- What strategies could be used to address identified challenges and in doing so, reduce the level of disputation?
The dominant theme in discussion of these questions— ‘getting on the same page’ —produced a range of potential strategies that could contribute to disputation reduction within the Victorian workers’ compensation system:
- Early triage to identify and address known predictors of poor outcome following workplace injury:
- Case conferencing and mobile claims agents to break down silos that hamper both communication between stakeholders and optimal management of injured workers;
- Harmonised information resources that are clear, non-bureaucratic and delivered through a range of channels consistent with contemporary information dissemination
- Altering the tone and content of communcations including standard letters and telephone contact