Effective April 23rd, 2016, the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the majority of the province’s chiropractors and the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (WHSCC) has ended. In the absence of a written MOA, chiropractors had agreed to continue with the provision of necessary care to injured workers outside of a contract on the commitment that WHSCC would continue to honour their legislative duty to pay for these services outside of a contract and work towards arriving at a mutual resolution. While your chiropractor has honoured their commitment to provide these necessary services, WHSCC has not honoured the commitment made publically by WHSCC CEO Leslie Galway to continue discussions with the Newfoundland and Labrador Chiropractic Association (NLCA) in order to ensure that care of injured workers is not compromised. As a result of this refusal to honour their stated commitment, effective May 18th, 2016, chiropractors will no longer bill directly to WHSCC without express written confirmation, on a case by case basis, that the cost associated with this care will be covered by WHSCC. Chiropractors will no longer provide information to WorkplaceNL on 8/10 forms and therefore an injured worker who wishes to have care approved for payment by WHSCC will need to contact their case manager in order to have confirmation of approval issued to the treating chiropractor . While the province’s chiropractors have made every attempt to avoid this undesirable outcome, 2 main issue that remain unaddressed by WorkplaceNL make this action necessary.
1. The NLCA has, on several occasions since April 23rd, requested that the commission provide written confirmation of the process that our members are expected to use in order to determine if a patient is eligible for funded care by WHSCC. As eligibility for payment by WHSCC is not determined by your chiropractor and your chiropractor has not received information requested of WHSCC on how eligibility will be determined, there is significant risk that the costs associated with care will not be covered due to administrative barriers and this will leave patients with significant financial burdens should a significant course of care be established but not covered by WHSCC. It is therefore essential that all patients are aware before beginning a course of necessary care that the financial responsibility for care received is their individual responsibility when not expressly approved by WHSCC
2. WHSCC has clearly communicated in recent weeks that there has been no change in its position on the outstanding issues that resulted in the termination of the contract for chiropractic services on April 23rd, 2016. This communication is contradictory to the message that was publically communicated by Ms. Leslie Galway, CEO of WHSCC in media interviews and as a result it is clear that WHSCC continues to operate in a manner that is not reflective of reasonable etiquette during professional negotiations. In light of this lack of commitment to honour statements made in public outlets to continue discussions, our members must now also assume that commission has no intention to honour its public commitment to pay chiropractors directly for the costs associated with care to injured workers outside of a contract. As a result the provinces chiropractors are left with little option but to insist that payment be provided at the time of service in the absence of written confirmation that the cost of care will be covered.
WHSCC has been informed of this action that has resulted from their neglect to honour public commitments that would ensure that services provided by your chiropractor will be paid by WHSCC and this action will remain in effect until a mutually negotiated contract that is approved by the NLCA and the province’s chiropractors is officially executed.
Any changes or updates to this position will be broadcast on twitter through @nl_chiropractic and posted at www.nlchiropractic.ca/workplacenl
Please be assured that the chiropractors of Newfoundland and Labrador remain committed to the provision of essential and necessary care to each and every Newfoundlander and Labradorian and that this current action by the province’s chiropractors is intended to ensure that patients continue to receive timely access to necessary care in the absence of a written agreement by WHSCC to cover the costs associated with this care.
If you have questions or concerns related to your eligibility for benefits relating to your work related injury, please contact your case manager or WorkplaceNL at 778-1000