Wellnz Ltd is delighted that so many of its long-term concerns about ACC are now seeing the light of day, as the new Government digs deeper into the monopolistic bureaucracy which has run on a "cost plus" mentality for far too long.
This current crisis over the funding shortfall has concentrated the minds of the Ministers of ACC, and Finance and even the Prime Minister himself has weighed into the debate, particularly as likely levy increases in the future will gobble up all of the Government tax reductions. Inevitably, the bigger issue of competition within the ACC environment has been forced to take second stage, and seems now that this is unlikely to be introduced until 2010.
Wellnz Ltd has been in dialogue with the Minister's offices, and we have recommended to the Minister of ACC, Dr Nick Smith, some short term measures which could be introduced by way of regulation to improve the flexibility of ACC. The Minister is considering these currently.
New Zealand employers can take advantage of this delay by using the time to get themselves ready for the competitive environment.
By joining the ACC Accreditied Employers Programme (ACCAEP) now (if they qualify) those companies will be able to take advantage of the signficant reductions in rates which will occur as costs increase.
By putting in place systems to accurate record data on claims history, health and safety policies and procedures and experience rating, they will also put themselves in a strong position to negotiate the best rates (based on their own claims history) once the competitive environment is introduced.
The useful Wellnz booklet, entitled "All you need to know about the competitive ACC environment" is still available but numbers are very low. It's free and it won't take long to read, but we think it is important for all employers to understand how their business could benefit from this environment.
Prompt intervention by experienced case managers, followed by comprehensive rehabilitation will lead to an earlier return to work, and less days lost which is good for employees and employers.
With ten year's solid experience and knowledge in this market, Wellnz is the proven authority in this sector. We have the successful experience of 1999-2000 behind us, and we have continued to grow despite the tighter ACC monopoly market. Of the last 25 tenders on offer, we have won 22 of them. We out perform our competitors and ACC (by a factor of 7), delivering better outcomes and superior service.
Now with 50 major employer clients, Wellnz Ltd handles about 8500 claims per year from a combined workforce of 85,000 people.
Thanks to Brian Blackman, Principal, Wellnz, for permission to reprint this article in it's entirity.