In early 2019 AIA Australia (AIAA) partnered with the University of South Australia on a new research project designed to help AIAA claimants living with chronic pain. A world-first in the claims management environment, the study sought to determine whether pain coaching could help AIAA customers on Income Protection (IP) claims for persistent musculoskeletal pain achieve a faster return to life and work.
Approximately 50 per cent of all AIAA IP claims are for chronic pain and 43 per cent are for Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD). Furthermore, many claimants end up getting ‘stuck’ on claim, proceeding down lengthy paths of investigation and intervention and prolonged periods of physical inactivity and disability – none of which aids recovery. An effective pain coaching program that could both reduce wait times, and facilitate earlier returns to work, could therefore be beneficial to both AIAA and claimants alike.