Diagnostic Treatment Protocols

Overview

In July 2017, the Provincial Government announced the start of a comprehensive review of the automobile insurance system in Newfoundland and Labrador. As part of this review, the Public Utilities Board (PUB) conducted an independent closed claims study and public consultations seeking input on various aspects of automobile insurance product, including third party liability, accident benefits, physical damage coverage and uninsured motorist coverage. In addition, the Provincial Government conducted consultations to explore issues outside the scope of the PUB’s mandate. In January 2019, the PUB submitted a report and recommendations to the Provincial Government.

Background

On April 17, 2019, Bill 3, an Act to Amend the Automobile Insurance Act, received Royal Assent. Some of the key changes included:
  • an increase in the deductible for bodily injury claims;
  • introduction of treatment protocols for common injuries as the primary payer;
  • no access to the Uninsured Automobile Fund for losses by uninsured motorists;
  • direct compensation for property damage;
  • requirement for insurance companies to notify the Registrar of Motor Vehicles of the cancellation or expiration of insurance policies; and
  • changes to procedural rules for motor vehicle collision claims.

One of the amendments made to the Act allows a person who has accident benefits, and who sustained a type of injury prescribed in the regulations, to elect to be treated in accordance with the Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols (DTPR) prescribed in the regulations. The protocols are intended to apply to accident victims who have suffered a sprain, strain or whiplash-associated disorder injury.

The goal of the diagnostic and treatment protocols is to get the person injured in a motor vehicle accident on the road to recovery as soon as possible, with timely and effective evidence-based treatment specific to the injury. The benefits of these protocols for an injured person include:
  • not having to wait for approval from the insurer or for a physician referral to access treatment;
  • not having to pay out of pocket so there are no financial barriers to access to treatment;
  • consistency in treatment for defined injuries based on scientific evidence; and
  • being able to choose their own treatment provider.

In the report to government, Review of Automobile Insurance in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities (PUB) advised there was general support from industry stakeholders for the implementation of pre-approved, evidence-based diagnostic and treatment protocols for defined injuries. The PUB further advised that implementation of minor injury diagnostic and treatment protocols in this province would be a significant change and collaboration between the insurance industry, health care professionals and government would be critical in developing protocols.

The focus will be on developing protocols and processes that will:
  • Ensure that individuals with a sprain, strain or whiplash-associated disorder injury do not have to wait for approval from their insurance company or get a physician referral before treatment begins;
  • Facilitate practitioners use of the best available evidence to guide diagnosis and treatment;
  • Provide an effective process for treating persons with DTPR injuries while, at the same time, provide a second opinion for individuals who are not recovering as expected;
  • Ensure individuals will not have to pay out of pocket so there are no financial barriers to access treatment; and
  • Provide consistent treatment for defined injuries based on scientific evidence and being able to choose their own treatment provider.

Get Involved

To fully inform the development of these protocols, the Provincial Government is consulting with key stakeholders within the healthcare profession and the insurance industry.

In particular, healthcare professionals that are involved in the diagnosis and/or the treatment of injuries that result from automobile accidents are encouraged to participate in the consultations process. The feedback from your professional experience in dealing with current processes will be valuable information to consider as the Provincial Government develops Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols.

Thank you in advance for your participation.

Online Questionnaire:

An online questionnaire is available to capture all feedback. The questionnaire includes specific questions and provides an opportunity for respondents to include additional suggestions and information.

This questionnaire will be available until October 31, 2020.

It should take approximately 20 minutes to complete the questionnaire.

If you have any questions related to this questionnaire, or require an alternate format, please contact Digital Government and Service NL at (709) 729-4909 or by email at ReneeDyer@gov.nl.ca.

Click here to complete the questionnaire

Written Submissions:

If you prefer to submit a written response, please fill out a copy of the guide or prepare a letter/submission responding to the questions. 

Click here to download or view the discussion guide.

The deadline for written submissions is October 31, 2020.

Written submissions can be sent by:

Mail:       Digital Government and Service NL

               P.O. Box 8700
               West Block, 2nd Floor, Confederation Building
               St. John’s, NL  A1B 4J6

Email:    serviceNLinfo@gov.nl.ca

How will your input be used?

The information we receive will be reviewed by Digital Government and Service NL, and all feedback will be considered as the Provincial Government develops Diagnostic and Treatment Protocol Regulations.

Privacy Statement

The collection of information is done under the authority of section 61(c) of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015 for the purpose of collecting public feedback on Diagnostic Treatment Protocols.

Any personal information that may be received will be governed in accordance with the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015 and will only be used for the purpose of providing a response to submissions received and informing participants of results at the end of the process.

If you have any questions about how this information will be collected, used and disclosed, please contact Pam Senior at PamSenior@gov.nl.ca.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or additional comments regarding the Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols consultations exercise, please contact Thomas Duggan at ThomasDuggan@gov.nl.ca or (709) 693-3651.