ICBC Policy Change

A major change has occurred in ICBC policy regarding the coverage for massage therapy following a motor vehicle accident (MVA). This change reflects the ability of Registered massage therapists to competently assess and treat injuries sustained in an accident and respects the rights of the injured to choose their mode of treatment. Having treated literally hundreds of people injured in MVAs I am glad that a major hurdle to care has been removed.

During the initial stage of healing following an injury, called the acute phase, it is vital to get your body assessed for spasm, swelling, pain and get recommendations on how best to care for yourself during this time. Your long term recovery outcome is highly dependent on what you do soon after your injury.

If you have been injured in an MVA come in as soon as possible to get looked at and get on the right track to a better recovery.

Here is the new ICBC policy as relayed to RMTs by the MTA:

Subsequent to the Raguin vs. ICBC court decision in November 2011, ICBC has implemented new coverage for massage therapy treatments.

ICBC – Current Massage Therapy Policy as of January 2012

For RMTs Registered as ICBC Providers:

  • ICBC now categorizes massage therapy as nondiscretionary therapy as per physiotherapy and chiropractic. This means that treatment is automatically approved for a claimant injured in an MVA
  • ICBC has removed the “1st 8 week post MVA” time limitation on massage therapy treatments. This means that a patient can seek and receive massage therapy any time after an MVA, provided that the claim is still open.
  • An MD referral is no longer necessary for the first 12 treatments. But all therapists are required to assess and determine that their treatment plan (as per CMTBC practice standards) is reasonable and necessary.
  • The MTABC encourages RMTs to contact the ICBC adjuster to advise of the therapy being provided.

ICBC is regulated to pay a minimum 12 treatments but as the discretion to authorize further therapy (up to 20 treatments). A request for more than 12 treatments is given if further therapy is recommended by an MD, and again the treatments are deemed to be reasonable and necessary.