The Treatment Benefits scheme operated by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (“The Department”) provides dental, optical and audiology services and medical appliances to qualified people. In late 2017, following suspension for a number of years, the Irish government restored these Treatment Benefits to all eligible citizens and extended them to self-employed contributors for the first time. This provided a real challenge: how to deliver the required change in a tight timeframe – with limited resources, anticipated high claim volumes, and the need to move from an old legacy IT system.
The project fundamentally redeveloped the scheme administration and improved service delivery to customers and stakeholders (dentists/opticians/audiologists). The service offering is radically changed, with digital delivery as the main delivery channel providing dentists/opticians/audiologists with a self-service portal (seven day availability) to check eligibility, submit claims and receive payments.
Developing a new system within six months, capable of scaling to meet claim load increases – from 490,000 claims in 2016 to in excess of 1.2 million claims in 2018, with 96 per cent delivery online – was a major achievement.