In the coming days, Parliament will undertake the final reading of an amendment to our legislation. This expands accident cover to include certain maternal birth injuries experienced during labour and childbirth from 12.00am on 1 October 2022.
This is a significant change for ACC, but more importantly represents a positive step for the health of birthing parents and improving equity of access to the Accident Compensation scheme. This change means those with a covered maternal birth injury will be eligible for ACC-funded support, treatment, and care to help them in their recovery.
In preparation for this, our focus has been to make sure health practitioners across the motu can begin lodging claims from 1 October and our systems and people are ready to process them.
To do that, we’ve made variations to the Allied Health, Clinical Services, Rural General Practice and Urgent Care Clinic contracts which were sent to contract holders earlier this month. A new service item code has also been added for GPs and Nurse Practitioners working under Cost of Treatment Regulations. Others working under Regulations can provide their services to these clients using existing codes.
So practitioners can understand this new cover and how to lodge claims, we’ve created some quick, easy-to-read resources and updated our website with more information.
We’d like to invite you and your members to visit our website to find out more and to check out the resources we’ve developed:
- Quick Guide for maternal birth injuries
- Sample ACC45 for a maternal birth injury
- Maternal birth injuries learning module
We also have a section on our website with information for parents about this change in ACC cover. This includes a page that gives an overview of what’s normal and not normal after giving birth, and when to seek help. It links parents to a range of other external resources if they need extra support.
New role for midwives and rongoā Māori practitioners
As a result of this work, we’re pleased to welcome midwives as practitioners who can lodge claims for the birthing parents in their care, within their scope of practice (all grades of labial, vaginal, vulval, clitoral, cervical, rectal, and perineal tears). This recognises midwives’ clinical expertise, the close bonds they form with parents and whānau, and their crucial role in post-partum care.
We’re also offering a new contracted service for rongoā Māori practitioners so they can provide traditional and holistic healing and rehabilitation for māmā with a covered birth injury and their whānau.
Our whāinga (goal) in designing this new cover is to reduce barriers of entry into the scheme and improve equity. For whānau Māori, that means easy access to culturally appropriate and safe care, which is rooted in tikanga Māori, mātauranga Māori and te reo Māori.
Thank you to everyone involved
We’d like to thank the parents who bravely shared their stories with us to help inform our mahi, the members of our expert advisory group for their advice and guidance, and representatives from the wider health sector who gave input through this process.
We understand your members will likely have further questions about this new cover and how it impacts them and their patients. We’re planning a series of webinars in the coming months for different provider groups to explain how this change affects them and to answer questions. We’ll be sending details out shortly.
In the meantime, your members can send pātai (questions) to email@example.com or they can get in touch with us through their usual channels.