As members are aware, CRPO’s mandate is public protection. Barriers that challenge equitable access to care for Ontarians have the potential to negatively impact those individuals who would benefit from the safe, competent care RP’s are well positioned to provide. We are aware that limited third-party insurance coverage for RP services is an ongoing source of frustration for members and an potential impediment to accessing care for many of their clients.
Recently, I wrote to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) regarding the apparent exclusion of RPs from their Professional Services Guideline (PSG), which establishes the maximum expenses payable by automobile insurers for the services of any of the health care professions. I received a quick response from Tom Golfetto, Executive Director of the Automobile Insurance Division at the FSCO.
He indicated that RPs “may submit treatment plans and invoices for services to automobile insurers even if they are not included in the PSG…[T]reatment plans and invoices are submitted with the cost of services usually set by the regulated professional or negotiated with the insurer.” He further indicated that CRPO’s request would be considered when FSCO next undertakes their annual review of the hourly rates in the PSG.
On a similar note, we are aware that there are employers who have successfully worked for the inclusion of RP services as part of the extended health benefits they provide through insurance carriers. While we acknowledge that challenges will continue (for example, because insurance agencies are pan-Canadian entities who may not be willing to extend coverage when the majority of provinces do not regulate psychotherapists), we see progress starting to come from the work of professional associations, employers and RPs themselves who are successfully pushing ahead on this issue.