It has been 8 years since the Rehab Code was updated. Since then we’ve seen the Jackson reforms in 2013 and the introduction of Medco earlier this year, not forgetting changes to the Health Service and Welfare Reforms leaving many to believe that the rehab code was no longer fit for purpose.
Whilst the concept of the rehab code hasn’t changed and still actively encourages a collaborative process between both claimant and defendant, the 2015 rehab code is more detailed with clearer guidelines on the expectations for both sides and will make things more ethical and better for the injured person.
So what makes the 2015 rehab code different?
Firstly and probably the biggest difference is the attention that has been given to lower value claims. The 2015 rehab code is significantly more detailed and has been written jointly by members of ABI, APIL, CMSUK, FOIL, IUA, MASS and PIBA. Mark Bayliss, chair of the International Underwriting Association admitted to Post Magazine that creating the updated code had been a challenge for all involved as everyone has a different view on rehabilitation ‘but we got there in the end.’
The 2015 rehab code identifies that the claimant and their rehabilitation should be at the forefront of any personal injury claim regardless of its value. It recognises that injuries don’t always need to be catastrophic to require rehabilitation, that not all lower value cases need treatment and those that do may need more than just a course of therapy.
The onus has been put on to the importance of early identification of injuries and early intervention of rehabilitation, which will prevent conditions becoming chronic, thus enabling claims to be settled more swiftly and accurately.
The code continues to advocate the need for an appropriately qualified health practitioner to assess the injured person and identify their needs, whether it be a triage on a lower value case or an immediate needs assessment on a catastrophic. What is interesting about is this is that one of initial findings considered as appalling health care in the Mid Staffordshire NHS inquiry in 2010 was that triage in A&E had been undertaken by untrained staff, something that could perhaps be related to the current rehabilitation market. There are other issues that may also be comparable which I plan to write about in a later blog.
The code advocates independence from the medico-legal process something that has become an issue since the Jackson reforms and has been argued is a conflict of interest.
The 2015 rehab code is focused on 10 markers that need to be taken into consideration when structuring a rehabilitation plan.
1. Age ( particularly children/elderly);
2. Pre-existing physical and psycho-social co morbidities;
3. Return-to-work/education issues;
4. Dependants living at home;
5. Geographic location;
6. Mental capacity;
7. Activities of daily living in the short- and long term;
8. Realistic goals, aspirations, attainments;
9. Fatalities/those who witness major incidence of trauma within the same accident;
10. Length of time post-accident.
As an addition to the code there is a supplement guide on the requirement and expectations of a case manager.
Many who have worked in the industry for a long time and understand it would probably agree that the 2015 rehab code is guidelines for going back to basic’s !
To coincide with the 2015 rehab code Accident Rehab has launched FastAssess which is our online independent rehabilitation triage reporting system, which will give an early accurate assessment of a client rehabilation needs for lower- mid value cases. For more information, please contact us on 0151 348 7000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.