COVID-19: FAQs for health care providers

FAQs

Does the WSIB allow virtual care?

Yes. In these unprecedented times, the WSIB supports virtual care for the delivery of programs and services.

We expect that health care providers will follow all their regulatory requirements and guidelines in the delivery of virtual care, including obligations of security and privacy in choosing the platform.

We consider virtual care for a program of care and an episode of care to include visual contact with the injured person as a necessary part of the assessment and evidence-based treatment. The use of telephone interactions for the delivery of care may be considered on a case-by-case basis to provide education and guidance where visual contact through virtual care is not accessible.

The WSIB also expects that virtual care will be delivered individually to people with workplace-related injuries or illnesses.

Telephone and video conferencing platforms are supported for the assessment and treatment of mental health illnesses.
 

Can I continue delivering the Program of Care (POC), Episode of Care (EOC), Community Mental Health Program (CMHP) and/or fee-for service treatment virtually or, now that clinics are reopen, in a hybrid-care model?

If you were treating someone in a POC/EOC/CMHP or in approved fee-for-service treatment during the COVID-19 lockdown virtually, during these unprecedented times, the WSIB is permitting the continuation of virtual care or the start of hybrid care models. The care model should be dependent upon what is best for the injured person and in line with the directions of your professional association and/or regulatory body.

Can I start delivering the Program of Care (POC) or Episode of Care (EOC) in-person for people whose treatment was on hold during the COVID lockdown?

As you begin delivering care to a person with a workplace injury again, discuss with them their current needs so that you can understand the status of their injury and recovery, and ask them if they plan to continue treatment. 

On their first visit back for treatment, conduct a reassessment. After the assessment is complete, call our clinical expert phone line at 416-344-5739 or 1-866-716-1299 to discuss the next steps. If, during the assessment, you identify some recovery barriers, please discuss them with the clinical expert.  

Once you have an approved treatment plan, and have identified next steps, follow the regular process (i.e.: call the clinical expert line for treatment extension requests). If at any time during treatment, you identify additional barriers to recovery, follow the regular process and call the clinical expert line to discuss a referral to specialized services, if required. 

Who do I contact for questions related to the Community Mental Health Program (CMHP)?

For general questions related to the CMHP, please contact the Health Practitioner Access Line at 1-800-569-7919 or 416-344-4526. For questions related to assessment and/or treatment, please call the WSIB General Line at 1-800-387-0750 or 416-344-1000 to speak with the Case Management Team.

Can I deliver the program of care for noise-induced hearing loss through virtual care?

The main program of care components for noise-induced hearing loss, including the hearing loss assessment, dispensing and fitting of hearing aids, cleaning, and adjustments, need to be completed in person and cannot be adequately provided through virtual care platforms. Therefore, the WSIB does not support the delivery of Block 1 of the program of care for noise-induced hearing loss through virtual care. However, where an injured person has completed Block 1 of the noise-induced hearing loss program of care, some virtual care services may be appropriate. 

A virtual follow-up visit may be appropriate in cases where the injured person was fitted with a specific hearing aid model that can be re-programmed using remote technology. In these cases, the clinician can provide the Block 2 Progress Follow-up to re-program the hearing aid, educate the injured person on cleaning the hearing aid, and provide education and re-instruction on proper hearing aid use. The clinician may also complete and submit the NIHL POC Hearing Aid Outcome Questionnaire. Injured people who have completed the entire noise-induced hearing loss program of care may also receive similar follow-up services through virtual care.

We expect that health care providers will follow all their regulatory requirements and guidelines in the delivery of virtual care, including obligations of security and privacy in choosing the platform.

We will use the existing fee schedules where appropriate for virtual care. Follow the same billing process as you do today to bill us, and if you delivered the services virtually, indicate that in reports.  


 

Do I need approval to deliver virtual care?

No additional approval is required to deliver virtual care.

What should I do if I have had to close my clinical practice and will not be providing in-person or virtual care?

Please follow your regulatory college’s guidance and standards of practice that speak to ensuring continuity of care.

How do I bill for a program or fee-for-service that is being delivered through virtual care?

The existing fee schedules for programs of care, episodes of care, the Community Mental Health Program and fee-for-service treatment will also be used for virtual care. You should follow the same billing process as you do today to bill us.

Do I need to include any other information in the programs of care, episode of care, Community Mental Health Program and fee-for-service documents or other reporting to the WSIB?

Please include a notation regarding the use of virtual care in the treatment forms or on any other documentation that you send us during the billing process.

The person with a workplace injury that I treat does not want to participate in virtual care, what should I do?

We acknowledge that some people with a workplace injury may cancel sessions because they do not want to participate in virtual care. Their preference should be considered in supporting the appropriate method for delivery of care. If in treatment, you can discharge them from care and send in appropriate reporting.

Can I mail a form to the WSIB?

Currently, we it is taking longer than usual for the mail we receive to be processed and we are not accepting courier deliveries – however, we’re still here to help. If there is an associated claim number, you can upload a form or document to us using our website. For anything without a claim number, you can fax us. You may also send mail to our head office:

200 Front Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5V 3J1

Can I submit a Health Professional’s Report (Form 8) without a signature from the person with a workplace injury or illness?

Yes. We are able to process the Health Professional’s Report (Form 8) without a signature from the person with a workplace injury or illness. The purpose of the signature from your patient is to authorize you to share the information with us. To reduce physical contact, you may choose to instead read the authorization statement on the form out loud to your patient and document their verbal approval in the signature section.