LEAKED REPORT REVEALS: ICARE OVERPAID HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS TO “DODGY DOCTORS” IN FRAUDULENT AND DUPLICATE CLAIMS
DANIEL MOOKHEY MLC
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FINANCE
A leaked report shows that Treasurer Dominic Perrottet’s scandal-plagued agency iCare overpaid dodgy doctors hundreds of millions of dollars in duplicate and fraudulent payments.
In one incident, iCare paid for an anaesthesia used in caesarians for a man. In another, iCare paid for shoulder surgery despite the injured worker having a knee replacement.
The report in today’s Sydney Morning Herald follows revelations that iCare secretly funded two members of the Treasurer’s political staff. NSW Labor’s Shadow Minister for Finance and Small Business said the latest revelation was not surprising:
“iCare let dodgy doctors feast on the money employers paid to help sick and injured workers,” Mr Mookhey said.
“Treasurer Dominic Perrotett’s agency underpaid 52,000 workers up to $80 million, but overpaid dodgy doctors hundreds of millions of dollars.
“Relationships between iCare’s Board, the Treasurer and the Treasury are so conflicted, that instead of stamping out medical fraud, they let dodgy doctors binge on the workers compensation system.
“The Treasurer must explain why iCare did nothing while dodgy doctors were feasting on the money employers paid to sick and injured workers.
iCare provides workers compensation insurance to more than 326,000 businesses. It insures 3.6 million employees. The agency’s investment portfolio is worth $32 billion. The Treasurer created iCare in 2015. It has only ever answered to him.
Under Dominic Perrottet’s stewardship:
• iCare underpaid 52,000 workers up to $80 million.
• iCare secretly tried to cut off payments to thousands of injured workers to make up for years of multi-billion losses in the state’s workers compensation scheme.
• iCare sought to hike employer premiums by 4% and introduce a ‘gap fee’ for injured workers needing to see a doctor.
• The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) made referrals about iCare to the Independent Commission Against Corruption for further investigation.
• A damning independent review found that in 46 percent of claims handled, iCare failed to follow the relevant law.
• iCare racked up underwriting losses totalling $4.54 billion in the past three years.
• iCare’s $3.9 billion surplus effectively disappeared, before COVID-19 affected investment returns.
Mr Mookhey said: “Money employers paid to help sick and injured workers get back to work was instead used to hire a US Republican Party operative in the Treasurer’s office.
“This sham arrangement was not authorised by worker’s compensation laws, or by the Government sector employment laws.
“Mr Perrottet needs to step aside. The Government should dismiss the iCare Board. This is a test of the Premier’s leadership”
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