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EPN 498 - Scheme Medical Adviser (SMA) Services – new provider and framework effective from 1 July 2017

Audience

  • Civil Service and New Fair Deal employers – particularly individuals responsible for making referrals to the Scheme Medical Adviser (SMA)
  • Departmental IT security units (ITSUs)
  • Departmental Occupational Health Providers (DOHPs)

Actions

  • To note the work being undertaken by Cabinet Office to provide pan-Government accreditation of the HML Online Portal, for those Employers requiring such assurances to satisfy their own internal IT security protocols
  • To note HML’s Security Management Plan (link below)
  • To note the position with live (inflight) cases due for transfer between HA and HML prior to 1 July – both in relation to the position on ‘consent’ by the relevant Employer/Member for the transfer to take place, and of the physical handling of paper files between one supplier and the other
  • Familiarise yourselves and begin using with effect from 1 July the attached guidance for using the HML Online Portal and the procedures for making a referral using the Portal or on paper
  • To note the likelihood of further HML Online Portal user training by HML
  • To note and adhere to the deadline of 27 June for submitting referrals to HA and thereafter to HML

Timing

  • Immediate

Detail

1. In EPN487 (25 January 2017) we announced that the Scheme Medical Adviser (SMA) is changing from Health Assured (HA) to Health Management Limited (HML) with effect from 1 July 2017. We are therefore now entering the final stages of the transition of SMA services between these providers. This EPN contains important actions and information for employers leading up to the transition.

Detailed guidance on use of the HML Online Portal 

2. EPN497 provided employers with HML User Guidance that takes users through the various stages of the online referral process, from registering & receiving an access code, to login, to tracking cases and finally receiving SMA advice. There have also been a number of training opportunities for employers to attend HML-run Web-based live seminars.

3. Following the provision of training, employers are asked to note the further detailed User Guidance attached to this EPN. This, among other things, explains the different procedures for making referrals with effect from 1 July.

Deadline for making referrals to the incumbent SMA (HA)

4. You can continue to make paper-based referrals to be received by HA up to the 27 June only.  HA will log the case and start the initial review, before transferring the case to HML on 1 July.  Referrals received by HA after this date will be returned to employers to make the submission to HML in accordance with the attached guidance. 

Transferring ‘live’ cases between HA and HML

5. As part of any referral that employers and members currently submit to the SMA, there are a number of consents that are provided as part of the application process so that, e.g. the SMA may approach the member’s medical carer(s) should further medical reporting be needed before making an assessment.

6. On 6 March we issued EPN493 containing revised referral forms. In these we made the consent elements generic (for example, we removed references to Health Assured). However there remain some current ‘live’ cases that pre-date the new forms, and therefore do not have these generic consents in place.
Having taken legal advice, we have confirmed that the employer (as data controller) may agree the transfer of data.  Employers will be contacted directly, where necessary, to request that they provide consent for transfer of existing cases.

7.  Please note however that any new cases received by HA without the correct consent will be returned to the employer in order that the correct member consent can be obtained.

Charges for Inflight cases.

8. Current inflight cases will be partially processed by HA and HML, with the balance of work between the two providers reflecting the timeline and circumstances of each case. Employers can be assured that the total charges to them for each case will not exceed the charges that were applied by HA at the time the cases were submitted. 

9. HA will invoice employers directly, immediately following the transition on 1 July 2017.  HML will invoice for the work they undertake on the case once it has been closed.

IT and Data Security

10. Many employers have now completed the relevant training and are ready to make use of the HML Online Portal from 1 July 2017, for the submission of new cases.  However, a small number of employers have requested additional information regarding IT and data security in relation to the HML Online Portal, before they can start to use the new portal. 

11. This latter group of employers will continue to make paper-based submissions after 1 July 2017, whilst they resolve their outstanding issues.  To support them, the Lead for Identity Authentication and Security in Cabinet Office is working together with a National Cyber Security Council (NCSC) Security Expert and a NCSC Security Architect to review HML’s service and provide further assurance for employers.

12. We will contact employers when this work has been completed describing what it means for you. In the meantime we are also making sure that those employers with residual IT and data security concerns are represented in forthcoming meetings with the Cabinet Office Identity Authentication and Security Lead, which will inform the work being undertaken.  

Further User Portal Training

13. A number of employers were unable to access one of the Web-based seminars. We are seeking to arrange a further session with HML to happen before go-live including for those who may not currently be able to access Web-based seminars.

Other Issues subject to a further EPN

14. We will shortly be providing you with further details concerning the SMA service transition including:

  • A full list of HML contacts;
  • HML corporate details to enable you to set up Purchase Orders for requested services;
  • Amending the current referral forms so that consent can be given for referrals to be seen by DOHPs when they are made electronically (or part-electronically) through the HML Online Portal;
  • Amending the current SMA Guidance (section 6 of the Employers’ Pension Guide) to include the changed referrals process.

Attachments

Health Management Online User Guide

Health Management Online Approval Queue Process

Sending Full Application and/or Medical In Confidence by post Process

Additional Information for Employers

Health Management Training Material CSPS Contents Catalogue

Security Management Plan

Other information

If you require further assistance on the content of this EPN please contact  SMAProject@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

If you have a question about the distribution of EPNs contact employerpensionnotice@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

You can find electronic copies of the Employer Pension Guide, all current EPNs and forms on our Website: www.civilservicepensionscheme.org.uk

This notice is for employers and should not be issued to scheme members.

If members have a question about their pension they can find information on this Website or by contacting MyCSP.