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FSCO CAT Designation Update

Fewer seriously injured individuals will have access to med/rehab funds

June 29, 2012

The recently released FSCO Superintendent's Report on CAT assessment and designation has produced some immediate reaction from many stakeholder groups involved in the process. A review of the report highlights that there is no doubt fewer seriously injured individuals will have access to the med/rehab funds required to obtain appropriate treatment needed to maximize their chances of a full recovery. The new rules remove an assessor's ability to assess impairment on a "whole body" basis to obtain the 55% score required to gain CAT designation. The criteria used to measure head injuries has also been modified. Assessors will now grade a head injury on an extended outcome scale over a 6 month period rather than the immediate Glasgow Coma Scale measured at the time of the injury. Many experts fear that the "hidden" elements of a brain injury such as behavioral changes, depression, and information processing deficits will be minimized as a result and an injured individual will be penalized for recovering well from the acute phases of a head injury.

As a consequence of the report's recommendations members of the plaintiff bar have resigned from the FSCO advisory committee citing the absence of any meaningful consideration of their recommendations to the Superintendent. This is not simply an act of protest; it reflects deep dissatisfaction and frustration over the continued erosion of reasonable access to med/rehab services for the individuals who most desperately require assistance for severe trauma suffered as a result of a motor vehicle accident.

Please follow the links to both the FSCO superintendent report as well as a recently published article from the Canadian Underwriters Magazine for further information.

Superintendent's Report on the Definition of Catastrophic Impairment in the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (PDF) – December 15, 2011

Lawyers resign from Ontario auto insurance committee – June 22, 2012

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FSCO CAT Designation Update