A motor vehicle accident is a traumatic experience. A violent impact on the body can leave lasting effects, in the form of severe injuries or aches and pains that persist for days, even weeks.
In the Lower Mainland alone, ICBC states that up to 22% of all crashes are casualty crashes- crashes that result in injury.
If you have been in an accident as a driver, passenger, pedestrian or cyclist, in BC you are able to report it on the ICBC website. After you have submitted the relevant documents, you will receive a claim number. This number will enable you to access healthcare service providers with immediate effect.
With all the paperwork, vehicle damage, physical injury and psychological impact following an accident, we understand that choosing the right service provider for you can feel daunting. We created this simple checklist that should make it a tad easier for you.
Although we stand by our promise of offering only the best physiotherapy care, should you opt to visit other clinics, this checklist will remain a useful framework on to base your decisions during this incredibly stressful time.
Physiotherapy after accidents
Here are 4 things to consider when choosing a service provider.
- ICBC provides a predetermined amount of coverage for different services, but it has changed policies multiple times in the past 3-4 years. Let’s dial it back a few years to understand how that affects your treatment session.
- Prior to April 1, 2019, for a single physiotherapy session, clinics were paid $45 by ICBC. The private physiotherapy rate at the time was slightly higher, anywhere between $55-$75 per session. What that meant was you, the patient was responsible for tallying the overall cost by paying $10-30 more out of pocket. But, once the claim was settled, ICBC would reimburse the user fees to you.
- Another obstacle to treatment at the time was approval. With ALL parties Suing ALL parties involved in order to get more money, ICBC was unable to approve treatment sessions for those that needed them.
- As of May 1, 2021, ICBC unveiled the Enhanced Accident Benefits plan. Under the new plan, they introduced the No fault policy. What that means is this; regardless of whose ‘fault’ it is, everyone involved is eligible to receive benefits as prescribed by the service provider.
- When you have received a claim number you can walk into any physio clinic and access treatment to recover at the earliest. ICBC has pre-authorized 25 physiotherapy sessions or 12 weeks of intervention for physiotherapy without any note or referral. The goal was to maximize intervention in the early access period.
- In 2021, the payment structure changed too. ICBC increased physiotherapy coverage from $45 to $84 per session in an attempt to decrease user fees and reimbursements. However, most physiotherapy clinics continue to charge additional user fees which causes an unnecessary financial strain on you, the patient.
At Revere, we believe it’s unreasonable to ask you to pay out of pocket for your treatment when the accident was probably not your fault, to begin with.
Even though our private rates are higher, for all patients who have been in an accident we only charge the amount that ICBC covers. We believe this will significantly reduce your distress and enable your body to heal in an optimal environment.
We offer evidence-based physiotherapy treatment at zero cost to you the patient as a gesture to support you in your recovery journey.
2. Duration of a treatment session
- Knowing that clinics can reimburse a predetermined amount from ICBC, they are sometimes known to compromise on the duration of a session.
- If you are being offered 15-minute sessions for your treatment, then we believe it is not the best practice. A physiotherapy session ranges from anywhere between 30-45 minutes when evidence-based protocols are followed.
At Revere, we are not stacking multiple patients at once or handing you over to an assistant. We are right there with you, for 30 minutes, through the entire process.
3. Type of intervention offered
Having worked in clinics around Vancouver, we believe the standards of physiotherapy care have dropped drastically. It’s important to remember that physiotherapy is allocated a significant amount of coverage in the enhanced benefits recovery package because Physiotherapists are experts in assessments and treatment interventions for injuries from accidents.
These injuries include:
- Neck strain
- Back strain
- Shoulder injuries etc.
In an effort to keep patient flow high, most clinics compromise on quality, sometimes choosing to hook patients up to machines as the only intervention offered. This attitude sadly goes against the reputation of the profession.
At Revere, we offer one-to-one Manual therapy methods during which your physiotherapist provides ongoing feedback and assists you as indicated. The goal is to guide you to a pre-accident level of functional ability.
4. Interdisciplinary effort
- As physiotherapists, we are well-trained to assess your functional abilities and identify requirements for additional support. A thorough screening will give us valuable information on overall health. Additional support may look like an Occupational Therapy or Counselling referral.
- Physiotherapists at Revere have been a part of multidisciplinary rehab teams and can provide education to you, the patient, on the benefits of seeking additional services if need be. We also communicate directly with your adjustors/case managers to make sure your treatment plan is good. We keep it simple and recovery-focused.
Comment below and let us know of your experience while recovering from the accident-related injury.