SIRA's new power to manage health service providers

Tuesday, 20 December, 2022

SIRA's new power to manage health service providers

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) has been given new powers to better manage health service providers in the workers compensation and CTP schemes, following changes to the State Insurance and Care Governance Amendment Regulation 2022 which took effect on 16 December 2022.

SIRA Chief Executive Adam Dent said the new powers will enable SIRA to better manage health service providers who have a pattern of poor practices.

“Providing quality health care is paramount for the welfare and recovery of people injured in workplace accidents and on our roads,” Dent said.

“While most health service providers do the right thing, there are other providers who engage in poor practices like overcharging and over-servicing.

“The new regulations ... give SIRA the power to take action against these providers by issuing directions to make sure their practices are in line with the objectives of the workers compensation or motor accident legislation.

“A direction can also be issued to a provider who has been referred to, or is under investigation by a clinical, professional or accreditation body. SIRA can issue a direction while those investigations are still underway.

“If providers don’t comply with the directions, SIRA now has remedies it can use including suspension or excluding healthcare providers from working in the NSW workers compensation and CTP schemes.”

SIRA will not intervene in individual patient care but will refer any providers suspected of breaching codes of conduct or standards to their health practitioner boards and accreditation authorities.

The new regulations reflect evidence gleaned from feedback gathered in consultations with the public and interested stakeholders.

The regulations also include specifications for a public register of providers who have had a direction issued to them.

SIRA will consult with health practitioners to design how that public register will work.

SIRA is also developing guidelines under the State Insurance Care and Governance Act 2015 that will be finalised in the first half of 2023 and will give SIRA a third option: to issue a direction to health service providers.

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