Registered care advisors—an essential medical resource for advancing the care and recovery of patients injured in vehicular accidents

On November 9, 2018, the provincial government announced new Insurance (Vehicle) Regulations for the treatment of motor vehicle accident injuries that allow for the creation of a list of medical care consultants called registered care advisors. Through the upcoming annual licence renewal process, the College will verify that registrants interested in becoming registered care advisors are qualified and otherwise eligible.

The role of the registered care advisor is to support the treating physician when an injured patient has not reached their expected recovery goals. They provide expedited medical consultations to family physicians treating patients of motor vehicle crashes, and are available for a second opinion on diagnosis and treatment plans when the initial care and recovery plan is not working. The role of the registered care advisor is consultative in nature with the intention of advising on best practice and appropriate treatment pathways.

The treating physician initiates a consultation with a registered care advisor when a second opinion on the diagnosis and/or treatment plan is required. The treating physician and registered care advisor should communicate to ensure the patient is provided with the most appropriate care. In order to maintain independence from the process, ICBC is not involved in these conversations. While the registered care advisor’s role is to provide recommendations based on best practice guidelines, the treating physician remains the primary care provider for the patient.  

A registered care advisor must be a qualified and independent assessor, not hired by the defendant insurer or plaintiff lawyer, and not have a financial interest in the treatment plan. To ensure fairness, the family physician and patient—not the lawyers or insurance companies—will choose a registered care advisor. 

Registered care advisors are College registrants who self-select in one or more of three areas of competency:

  • musculoskeletal injuries
  • acute and chronic pain
  • mental health issues and other psychosocial issues

Registrants who are interested in becoming a registered care advisor will apply through the College and specify their area(s) of expertise when they renew their licence in January. The College’s role is to verify that the registrant is in the full class of registration in a relevant discipline, and is not otherwise limited in providing assessments due to limits, conditions, undertakings, etc. Registrants in the provisional class or disciplined class of registration are not eligible to apply. 

The information collected through the annual licence renewal process will be provided by the College to the Ministry of the Attorney General who will establish the list of registered care advisors. The list will be published on ICBC’s Business Partners page. Physicians treating injured patients will be able to access the list to select the most appropriate registered care advisor.  

Registered care advisor consultations will be paid by ICBC according to the Insurance (Vehicle) Regulations.

Instructions for preparing and submitting invoices to ICBC will be available on ICBC’s Business Partners page in January.  

See Government of BC Regulations – Part 3 – Registered Care Advisors