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The BBC are reporting that American firm Maximus are to take over from Atos as the provider of the work capability assessment (WCA).

Maximus has been described by John Pring of the Disability News Service as a ‘company with a “chilling” record of incompetence, discrimination and alleged fraud’.

Maximus also won the contract for the government’s new Health and Work Service in July of this year, making it responsible for getting workers who have been on sick leave for more than four weeks back to work. The new service launches in November.

It means that the same company will first decide whether you should return to work when you are off sick and then whether you are eligible for employment and support allowance if you fail to return to work.

Pride’s Purge blog has more on Maximus and the Ekklesia website has more details on Health Management Limited (HML), the Maximus owned UK company which will run the Health and Work Service.

According to Ekklesia, the medical director at HML is Professor Mike O’Donnell, who was previously Chief Medical Officer at Atos and prior to that, Chief Medical Officer at the much hated Unum, who many sick and disabled claimants blame for the introduction of a points based system for assessing sick and disabled claimants.

We’ll publish more details as they become available.

Comments  

#18 myfindhorn 2014-11-05 22:05
Quote:
Hi

Seems we are all becoming Americans.

My council has just sacked all the staff,and we are now run by an American software company,using Chinese equipment. Looks like Beijing is taking over the world. Who the hell are these companies accountable to? Do these councillors know what the hell they are about.
They are taking all the american garbage they can get and no doubt a few brown envelopes will pass hands but then again it is up to the locals to vote the whole council out as they have lost faith in them
#17 myfindhorn 2014-11-05 21:50
Personally, things will never change until IDS is out of the picture, that man could be one of Hitlers Hench men any day of the week. I can only assume that he holds something over the heads of Westminster, but looking on the good side he is making sure Cameron and co will never win a election again
+3 #16 carruthers 2014-11-01 00:40
Quote:
I don't think they're bothered about whether the company that does the assessments is British, French, American or Outer Mongolian - as long as said company is utterly devoid of ethical principles and integrity, they fit the bill. ...

It's not as if we're following what the US has accepted, we're hiring US corporations whose track record is so obnoxious that even the American authorities can't stand them!
The interesting thing about Maximus is that at least some of their wrongdoing has been helping the state of Wisconsin defraud the federal government. The phrase which caught my eye was,
Quote:
The contract we had with them as a revenue-maximization consultant.
I'm betting that's the bit which had IDS's eyes a-gleam. Turn that into an almost-explicit contract to "minimise revenue-outflow ". Then add some cosy chats as to how the law needs to be changed to make the process as smooth as possible and there you are: an end to any pretence that Maximus is providing "impartial medical advice."

I keep hoping that someone will have the sense to take a look at those cases which will go to Tribunal and will win - and giving the benefit immediately, saving not only the claimant but also the tax-payer the time and expense of the appeal.

Unless the next step is an outright limitation on the right of appeal.
+1 #15 Jim Allison 2014-10-31 20:10
It’s Official: Maximus Awarded Work Capability Assessment Contract

Maximus Health and Human Services Ltd has been awarded the contract to undertake health-related assessments, DWP announced today (30 October 2014).

The contract will cover a number of assessments including the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), which is currently carried out by Atos. In March this year the government announced that it had reached a settlement with Atos to exit its WCA contract early.

The new contract is part of a concerted drive to ensure that people who need an assessment get the best possible service, say the DWP. Since 2010 there have been 4 independent reviews of the WCA and the government say they have implemented the majority of the recommendations.

A key part of this drive will see Maximus take on a significant number of additional healthcare professionals to undertake assessments.

Minister for Disabled People Mark Harper, said:

“We are committed to supporting those people who can get back into work and break the cycle of benefit dependency. Where people can’t work, we are clear that we should support them to live independent lives.

“Our determination not to write off benefit claimants, but instead seek to move more people into work, has been a key factor in this government’s success in helping people into work.

Maximus Chief Executive Richard A. Montoni said:

“Assessments for people who need health-related benefits should be timely, respectful and fair. Our goal is to improve the overall customer experience by addressing certain challenges that exist today. MORE
+3 #14 archie 2014-10-31 18:53
It's absolutely disgraceful the whole system.disabled people constantly being persecuted all these constant changes making me feel worse than ever
+3 #13 tintack 2014-10-31 00:17
Quoting Paul Richards:
Hi all,
One has to think (with this horrible Tory/Coalition in power) - WHY?
As I personally see it, there is only one conclusion - they do not want to see any 'British' Companies being employed to do this as:
British Companies may be too 'soft' on claimants - with them perhaps being more sympathetic to the claimants that they see.

And, with employing 'Foreign' companies - not only would they be less sympathetic to 'British' claimants - but, (and not least), they would really want to be seen to support other countries firms - both from the European Union and the U.S.

Our Government, after all, loves to be subservient to the U.S.


I don't think they're bothered about whether the company that does the assessments is British, French, American or Outer Mongolian - as long as said company is utterly devoid of ethical principles and integrity, they fit the bill.

You're right of course about our cringeworthy subservience to the US, but the really bizarre thing about British governments hiring UNUM and Maximus is that both companies have been very heavily criticised by authorities in the US! UNUM were even successfully prosecuted for fraud. So it's not as if we're following what the US has accepted, we're hiring US corporations whose track record is so obnoxious that even the American authorities can't stand them!
+4 #12 Iris 2014-10-30 21:21
I think many of the people who now work for Atos will be incorporated into Maximus -- it a maximus scandal!
+3 #11 Paul Richards 2014-10-30 21:04
Hi all,
One has to think (with this horrible Tory/Coalition in power) - WHY?
As I personally see it, there is only one conclusion - they do not want to see any 'British' Companies being employed to do this as:
British Companies may be too 'soft' on claimants - with them perhaps being more sympathetic to the claimants that they see.

And, with employing 'Foreign' companies - not only would they be less sympathetic to 'British' claimants - but, (and not least), they would really want to be seen to support other countries firms - both from the European Union and the U.S.

Our Government, after all, loves to be subservient to the U.S.

Unfortunately, militarily we are, (for decades now) and have been
the 'underdogs' - I (in previous Royal Naval Communications) have personally seen this. NATO (U.S.) signals always go first and the U.K. signals always go second.

This, (in political terms) is just a continuation of the same policy!
+2 #10 Mabel2015 2014-10-30 14:49
A very worrying development
+2 #9 jaxw17 2014-10-30 13:22
Are there really no British companies that can do this job. First French and now American No wonder the country is in such a mess
+3 #8 Carolyn 2014-10-30 10:26
It's hard to see how these companies are chosen - they couldn't have chosen worse if they just dropped the names of companies in a hat and pulled one out.

Here are a couple of links illustrating what Maximus are all about -

http://www.prwatch.org/news/2014/10/12638/privatization-fail-troubled-history-maximus-inc

and

http://www.justice.gov/archive/opa/pr/2007/July/07_civ_535.html
#7 shimtoan 2014-10-30 09:34
Maximus will still have to use LiMA, which is Atos software, which should hopefully soften the blow a bit (if they're as bad here as they are in the USA) even if the staff are complete b stars
+2 #6 carruthers 2014-10-30 07:34
Perhaps we should not be surprised. Atos couldn't handle the system, the public odium and the pressure from the DWP. So companies with more principles, and more wish to do the job with common sense and compassion are not going to want the job.

So enter bigger thugs with fewer principles and - probably - even worse employment practices.

The interesting question is whether the DWP have altered the terms of the contract - and if so whether we will be able to find that out. Here are some "low-lying fruit" which Maximus might want "picked".

- The need for doctors to assess some medical conditions. Shortage of doctors is one of the key bottlenecks in the current system.

- The right of claimants to have their assessments recorded. Already excluded from PIP assessments, this right is one Atos says is a bar to recruitment as HCPs "don't like being recorded". It will be easy to remove.

- Training - if management can over-rule medical decisions to meet financial targets, then why bother training people in anything other than the use of the computer program?

---
Just read report on BBC website about proposed savage cuts to the in WRAG

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-29821696

This is cutting down the numbers by making it not worth the hassle of applying. Just one step away from abolishing the WRAG. If it's Support Group or nothing, then the form could be much simplified - no need for a points-based system.
+4 #5 Paul Richards 2014-10-29 20:43
Hi all,
What utter madness from this shambolic, unthinking and totally uncaring Government once again.
ATOS were the lambs (in comparison) & these are American Bulls
and as tintack has said, with their snouts in the financial trough.
With the WCA for ESA still unchanged - the writing is definitely on the wall for this company. Because of ATOS's past terrible record, for them this is almost certainly going to be the worst poisoned chalice that they could have possibly become involved with.
From day one I would have thought that they will have a steadily increasing fight on their hands, not least from the sick and disabled who, through continued pressure successfully saw off ATOS.
It is probably far too much to ask, but it would help considerably if the Media would actually widely report all of this. But probably not!
+1 #4 angela 2014-10-29 19:10
Who do we turn to now
+5 #3 Blackcat 2014-10-29 17:11
Hi

Seems we are all becoming Americans.

My council has just sacked all the staff,and we are now run by an American software company,using Chinese equipment. Looks like Beijing is taking over the world. Who the hell are these companies accountable to? Do these councillors know what the hell they are about.
+6 #2 Just Me 2014-10-29 17:09
Well thats it then. We're doomed. :(

This lot have a worse rep then ATOS and thats saying something.
+8 #1 tintack 2014-10-29 15:47
So, Atos will be replaced by another corporation with its snout in the trough of the despicable, and sadly highly lucrative, disability denial industry. Who'd have thought it?

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