Claim and payment breakdown by therapy type 2016/17

Mark Hanna made this Official Information request to Accident Compensation Corporation

The request was partially successful.

From: Mark Hanna

Dear Accident Compensation Corporation,

Under the Official Information Act, I would like to request information on ACC claims within the 2016/17 financial year:

1. The total amount ACC paid for treatment costs.

1a. The amount ACC paid for each of acupuncture, chiropractic, osteopathy, and physiotherapy services.

2. The total number of ACC claims.

2a. The total number of ACC claims that involved each of acupuncture, chiropractic, osteopathy, and physiotherapy services.

Please provide separate figures for each of the treatment types, rather than a combined figure. Please also provide this information in a machine-readable spreadsheet format, such as XLSX or CSV.

I intend for this information to be comparable with information provided in previous years, such as in these responses:
https://fyi.org.nz/request/1624/response...
https://fyi.org.nz/request/1624/response...

Please don't hesitate to contact me if any part of my request needs clarification.

Sincerely,

Mark Hanna,
Chair, Society for Science Based Healthcare

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From: Mark Hanna

Kia ora,

It has now been two weeks since I sent this request, but I have yet to hear anything back. Could you please acknowledge that my request has been received and is being worked on?

Sincerely,

Mark Hanna,
Chair, Society for Science Based Healthcare

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From: Government Services
Accident Compensation Corporation


Attachment 0050481 Hanna M ackngment ltr.pdf
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Good afternoon Mr Hanna

A letter of acknowledgement was sent to you at the above address on 9
August 2017 at 3.00 p.m.

Here it is again.

 

Kind regards

Mary

 

 

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From: Government Services
Accident Compensation Corporation


Attachment 0050481 Hanna M signed resp.pdf
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Good afternoon Mr Hanna

Please find attached ACC response to your request.

 

OIA Services

 

 

Disclaimer:

"This message and any attachments may contain confidential and privileged
information. If you believe you have received this email in error, please
advise us immediately by return email or telephone and then delete this
email together with all attachments. If you are not the intended
recipient, you are not authorised to use or copy this message or any
attachments or disclose the contents to any other person."

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From: Mark Hanna

Kia ora,

Thank you for your response.

In response to a complaint regarding a separate request to another agency that was refused under s18(d) (ref 448574), I received the following response from the Ombudsman:

"Given that the information is now publicly available, I do not consider it necessary to make any recommendation in this case. However, I would like to suggest that in future cases where section 18(d) is being considered as a reason for refusal, the following points are taken into account:

- Releasing the information to requestors as soon as reasonably practicable particularly where no harm or prejudice has been identified in the release of the information;

- Providing requestors with a specific date (or a date by which) it is expected that the information will be released; and

- Notifying requestors by providing a link to the information when it becomes known that the release of the information is imminent."

Could you please tell me when the 2017 Annual Report is expected to be released, and ensure that you notify me where I can find it when it is released?

Alternatively, you could release the specific information regarding parts 1 and 2 of my request to me directly.

Sincerely,

Mark Hanna,
Chair, Society for Science Based Healthcare

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Mark Hanna left an annotation ()

It's disappointing that ACC has not provided the information in the format I requested, as required under s16(2) of the OIA, nor have given any reason for not doing so. I expect this is an oversight.

However, as there are only 8 numbers in the response, it's not been difficult for me to transcribe them into a spreadsheet myself.

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From: Mark Hanna

Kia ora,

I was surprised to see that these numbers appear to buck the trend of increasing number and total cost of claims year on year, when compared with similar figures that have been released in the past.

Yesterday, these figures for the 2015/16 financial year were also released in response to a separate request by Colleen Morgan. However, those figures are significantly lower than those provided in July 2016 by ACC's senior media advisor Stephanie Melville for the same information over the same period.

For example, the response regarding 2015/16 figures reports that there were 52,556 acupuncture claims in the 2015/16 financial year costing a total of $20,680,000. However, previously figures provided by Stephanie Melville showed there were 77,701 acupuncture claims in the 2015/16 financial year costing a total of $30,235,514.

The higher figures are consistent with information we have had released in previous years.

I'm concerned that whatever is causing this difference means the figures that have been released to me are not fit for the purpose I laid out in my request, in that I intend to compare them with information provided in previous years.

Could you please investigate and let me know the cause of this difference? I'd like to ensure that the information released for the 2016/17 financial year is comparable with information released in the past, so it can be used to observe changes in the number and total cost of these claims.

Sincerely,

Mark Hanna
Chair, Society for Science Based Healthcare

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From: Government Services
Accident Compensation Corporation

Dear Mr Hanna

Thank you for your follow-up query. Unfortunately the information that you refer to is not yet available, as it is produced for ACC's annual report.
ACC is happy to let you know when the 2017 Annual report is available on our website and provide you a link to it. We expect this will be some time in October, probably late October.

Yours sincerely

OIA Services

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From: Government Services
Accident Compensation Corporation

Good afternoon Mr Hanna
Thank you for your email regarding the figures released in response to Colleen Morgan’s recent request. We understand your concern is that these figures are significantly lower than those provided in July 2016 by Stephanie Melville.

In your request of 7 August 2017 and also in Colleen Morgan’s request, you both advised that you wished to compare the information with the information released in following responses in the past:
https://fyi.org.nz/request/1624/response...
https://fyi.org.nz/request/1624/response...
The data provided in these two requests related to new claims, as described in our responses. The same parameters were used in our most recent response, as you requested.

The figures provided by Stephanie Melville in 2016 relate to the count of all claims with an acupuncture treatment payment in 2016. Some of those claims were lodged in previous years.

I trust this explanation helps to clarify the matter.

Kind regards
OIA Services

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From: Mark Hanna

Kia ora,

Thank you for your response on Friday. It’s prompted me to go back over the various sources through which we’ve collected data on this topic over the years, to make sure our numbers are internally consistent.

We have five primary sources of data on the total amounts ACC has paid for acupuncture services per financial year. Three of these are publicly viewable on the FYI website (one of these being an example I gave in my request), whereas the other two sources are emails from Stephanie Melville:

https://fyi.org.nz/request/1624/response...
https://fyi.org.nz/request/1822/response...
https://fyi.org.nz/request/955/response/...

Together, these sources have data from 2002/03 through to 2015/16, with significant overlap from 2002/03 through to 2014/15. They consistently show that costs for acupuncture treatments rose from roughly $6m in 2005/06 to $17m in 2011/12, with an anomalous jump in costs occurring from 2006/07 (around $7.5m) to 2007/08 (around $12.5m).

Aside from that larger jump, which we have also seen in reported costs for other services, we have seen a fairly consistent rise in costs until this most recent data.

Thank you for your clarification that the figures provided by Stephanie Melville in 2016 relate to the costs for all claims with an acupuncture treatment payment in the given time period. I presume this means the data that has been recently provided (in response to the requests from Colleen Morgan and myself) only regard treatment costs for those claims that were initiated in the 2016/17 financial year?

I’m feeling confused, because the information provided by Stephanie Melville in 2016 is consistent with the other sources of data we have, including that which was provided as an example in the requests.

If the data provided by Stephanie Melville was regarding all claims, whereas the data in the example I gave regarded only claims made in that financial year, I’m not sure why they would have lined up so well in previous years (e.g. 1.2% lower in 2005/06), but be so different for 2015/16 (31.6% lower).

I’m not able to embed tables or images in responses sent via the FYI website, so I’ve put the data from these various sources, along with a chart, into a public spreadsheet on Google Drive that can be viewed here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1...

Any clarification you could give would be appreciated. I’m currently uncertain if all of our sources of data from ACC on this are somehow inconsistent, or if we should have been provided with different data in response to the recent requests.

Sincerely,

Mark Hanna
Chair, Society for Science Based Healthcare

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