Through new legislation, the list of practitioners who are required to provide reports to ICBC are referred to as “health care practitioners”.
Before the new legislation, Section 28 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Act allowed ICBC to obtain medical reports, commonly called a CL-19, for use in considering Part VII benefits. The reports were almost always written by family physicians.
Bill 20 introduced Section 28.1, which applies to accidents occurring on or after April 1, 2019. The new provisions expand the list of practitioners who will now be required to provide ICBC with reports. This is good news as non-family physicians tend to find more “objective” injuries that could potentially fall outside the “minor injury” category. For example, chiropractors tend to find more disc injuries than a family practitioner.
Through the new legislation, the list of practitioners who are required to provide reports to ICBC are referred to as “health care practitioners”. The list of “health care practitioners” includes psychologists, occupational therapists, nurse practitioner, dieticians, acupuncturists, massage therapists, traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, etc.
To emphasize the wide-reaching nature of “health care practitioner”, the legislation defines the “health care practitioner” as a medical practitioner, a nurse practitioner, a person who is entitled to practice a health profession under the Health Professions Act or “a person in a prescribed class of persons who provides health care”. The definition of “health care” was similarly added by Bill 20 and is defined as “anything that is done for a therapeutic, preventative, palliative, diagnostic, cosmetic or other health-related purpose”.
It is expected that these practitioners will be more “hands on” and provide opinions on injuries outside the cap. Family physicians have traditionally been more conservative in their views.
The fees for the health care reports are not great and may discourage participation in the program:
|Health Care Service||Fee Limit for Assessment and Report|
In summary, the legislation is greatly expanding the class of health care professionals that can provide opinions on a claimant’s injury. This is likely good news as more claims will fall outside the “minor injury” definition when non-tradition practitioners start to provide opinions as opposed to just family physicians.