Bad Medicine: the WSIB’s transformation of its health care spending

It’s been my privilege to work with IAVGO Community Legal Clinic as a co-author of a report on how the WSIB has “transformed” its health care spending since 2010. We describe the effect that the WSIB’s transformation has had on the provision of health care benefits to injured workers, by analyzing the WSIB’s own data in the context of the changes the WSIB has made to its business model and the experience of injured workers during that time.

The evidence we present supports the following stark conclusions. Since 2010:

  • There has been a significant cut in prescription drug benefits that affects thousands of injured workers per year.
  • Health care spending has progressively shifted away from services whose sole focus is patient welfare, and into services that are structured to drive down the cost of benefits paid to injured workers.
  • The primary measures used by the WSIB as evidence of improved health outcomes (the reduction in the incidence and severity of permanent impairments) are the result of changes to the WSIB’s adjudication practices. They constitute a cut in benefits themselves, rather than a reflection of improved health care.

If you’re concerned about how the WSIB has been limiting entitlement to drug benefits, or rehabilitation therapy provided by physiotherapists, chiropractors and the like, or the WSIB has told you that you have recovered from your injury when you know you have not, I urge you to read the report. It covers these issues in detail, and a great deal more.

The report is available, for free, on IAVGO’s website. You can download it as a PDF by clicking THIS LINK.