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ICBC Changes: Information and training available to physicians

February 14, 2019

New ICBC regulations for treatment of patients injured in motor vehicle accidents will come into effect April 1, 2019. Doctors of BC was a key stakeholder in forming the new model, which brings more clinical autonomy and increased compensation levels for physicians.  

Acknowledging the extra time often needed to care for ICBC patients, the new legislation will have a positive impact on the treatment process, including an enhanced care model, quicker access to care and a new payment scheme.  

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If you would like to know about the changes and how they impact physicians, scroll further down this article.

Resources for physicians

With April approaching, many physicians have asked about information and training to help them prepare for the changes. Here are some of the ICBC resources specifically for physicians:

New business partner page 

There are new ICBC business partner pages to better support you and your practice. These pages, which you can find on the left-hand navigation panel on the Health services page, contain specific information for your practitioner group, with the purpose of being a central place to go for all the information you need to know about treatment options, fees and new processes. 

Consider bookmarking the physician page to your browser for easy reference, as more information will be added in preparation of April 1, and beyond. 

New Registered Care Advisor (RCA) role for physicians

New on ICBC’s RCA Business partner page, you will find the RCA Information Guide, which provides further details about this role.

More training opportunities coming soon

CBC and UBC Continuing Professional Development are offering physicians free online training to introduce upcoming changes for treating patients injured in a motor vehicle accident.

The Continuing Medical Education accredited webinar will take place on two dates – April 3 or April 9, 2019 from 7-8pm PST – and is part of a larger education project, which will offer in-person workshops later this year.

You can register for the training online here.

Changes to ICBC regulations that come into effect April 1, 2019 bring more clinical autonomy,  increased compensation  for physicians as well as a  streamlined processes.

Questions?

If you have any questions in the meantime, please see the ICBC FAQ document or complete the dedicated online feedback form. You can also email icbc@doctorsofbc.ca with further questions. 

More on ICBC changes and how they impact physicians

As noted, new ICBC regulations for treatment of patients injured in motor vehicle accidents will come into effect April 1, 2019. Doctors of BC was a key stakeholder in forming the new model.  During the short consultation phase, Doctors of BC worked with a variety of physicians to outline priorities to inform the new rules, created by ICBC and the BC government.

Some of the top priorities identified included ensuring physicians are able to make independent decisions about care, lessening administrative burdens, integrating forms and reports into EMRs, ensuring guidelines are evidence informed, allowing for continuous improvement and advocating for fair compensation. 

This new model aims to reduce ICBC’s litigation costs while increasing patient care as the organization works to reduce spending.   

Frequently asked questions

How is the new cap of $5,500 applied to my patients?

The new regulations for patients with minor injuries will include a cap on the cash payout offered by ICBC for pain and suffering. It’s important to note that the payout limit of $5,500 only applies to compensation for the emotional distress and inconvenience of being in the crash (pain and suffering) portion of a claim, and does not affect any other aspects such as wage loss or medical care. In addition, patients will be entitled to medical treatments, wage loss and home maker benefits.   

The enhanced care model includes more choice in types of treatments, including kinesiology, acupuncture, massage therapy and counselling. 

The overall allowance for medical care and recovery expenses will double to $300,000 to better support patients injured in a crash. ICBC will also pay more per treatment based on fair market rates and customers will no longer be out-of-pocket for most expenses. 

Who decides if my patient has a minor injury? 

Physicians will provide a diagnosis to ICBC, and based on the new regulations, ICBC will make an assessment on the patient’s minor injury classification. It is important to note that a diagnosis may change over the course of the injury, and ICBC will accept new information to support a changing prognosis. If the patient disputes ICBC’s assessment about their injury claim, an independent dispute resolution process will take place through the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) for crashes occurring after April 1, 2019.

What if my patient has a minor injury for longer than 12 months? 

If a minor injury causes serious impairment beyond 12 months, it will no longer be subject to the payment limit on pain and suffering. 
What about forms and reports? As of April 1 2019, the CL-19 form will be discontinued. A new set of forms, designed with physician input, will be introduced and align with the needs of your patient. These new forms will also integrate with your EMR and serve as the patient record thereby eliminating the duplication of patient records.