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Disability Disrupted Webinar: Part 2

Posted by Medavie Blue Cross on April 19, 2022

Disability Disrupted Webinar: Part 2

Posted by Medavie Blue Cross on April 19, 2022

Editor’s Note: This is the second part of a two-part series summarizing our first Insights webinar of 2022 on disability management and the challenges and opportunities the pandemic has accelerated for prevention, treatment, and recovery.

“The pandemic has brought the Canadian health-care system to its knees. Hospitals are routinely overwhelmed, medical professionals are on the verge of burnout, and the impact of surgical delays on non-COVID patients is mounting.”

That was the conclusion the Fraser Institute reached in a report that compared Canada’s health care system to those of other countries.

How do we help disability claimants back to health and back on the job in this environment — and better still, keep health issues from reaching the disability claim stage? This is where innovative disruption comes in: the forward-looking solutions that have been developed to expedite access to care, whenever and wherever the claimant needs it.

1 in 4 people will become disabled during their working career. Council for Disability Awareness

At Medavie Blue Cross, we take a fully integrated, multi-disciplinary and proactive approach to disability case management that seamlessly guides claimants through their treatment and recovery. Our in-house team of over 150 professionals include occupational therapists, kinesiologists, social workers, rehabilitation specialists and registered nurses. They handle all aspects of case management from a full assessment of a claimant’s level of function to a thorough analysis of workplace programs and accommodations. Our goals are to support a safe, healthy recovery and successful return to work.

Managing Chronic Conditions

One of the leading causes of disability claims our team manages is chronic disease — also the number one driver of health benefit spending.

60% of plan members have been diagnosed with at least one chronic condition. 2021 Benefits Canada Healthcare Survey

Medavie Blue Cross is an industry leader in helping plan members gain the knowledge and confidence they need to improve their quality of life by taking charge of their chronic condition. Key to that is connecting our plan members with health care professionals in their communities for health coaching and education services. Our Managing Chronic Disease benefit was the first of extended health benefit of its kind in Canada reimbursing plan members for one-on-one counselling with a licensed specialist. Members receive expert support and guidance to self-manage asthma, COPD, diabetes, hypertension and to quit smoking.

One silver lining to the pandemic is that it has fast tracked adoption of virtual care to help ensure Canadians receive timely access to quality care — when and where they need it — from the comfort, privacy, and security of their homes. It’s putting health care at their fingertips and empowering them to take charge of their health, and on their terms.

11 million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes. Diabetes Canada

An example is our Diabetes Care Program, which addresses one of the fastest growing chronic diseases in Canada. It is a digital health solution that integrates personalized coaching, home delivery of test strips and glucose monitoring to support plan members living with diabetes, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol.

Virtual Care Services

Additionally, Online Doctors provides members with year-round virtual health care access to Canadian-licensed physicians. Members can skip the waiting line and connect with a doctor in minutes for consultation and treatment, using their computer or mobile device. Another internet-enabled health care option is Virtual Physio. Like Online Doctors, Virtual Phyiso is accessible to all plan members through our digital storefront, Connected Care, and provides all the restorative benefits of in-person physiotherapist but with the convenience of getting rehabilitation advice, exercise and education online — without having to leave the house. We also partner with Medical Confidence to deliver a unique navigation service that gives select disability claimants access to a network of more than 25,000 health care specialists. We believe it will help claimants potentially see a faster recovery from their disability and return to health.

Healthcare Navigation

At Medical Confidence, the focus is on navigating Canadians through the challenges they face accessing specialist care.

With healthcare navigation, Medical Confidence manages all the potential causes for delay, reducing the wait to receive care and treatment. As an example, Medical Confidence:

  • Assists a client with finding a family physician or nurse practitioner or works with the client’s local walk-in clinic to coordinate a referral to a specialist.
  • Identifies options for specialists who have the skills to treat their condition and who are accepting new patients optimal wait times for both initial assessment and treatment
  • Coordinates the referral to the appropriate specialist through the client’s primary care provider.
  • Ensures the referral is received and triaged in a timely manner and schedules the appointment.
  • Coordinates any testing or imaging needed prior to the appointment with the specialist so they have all the information needed to complete their assessment and provide treatment recommendations with the 1st visit.
  • Ensures the treatment is coordinated and scheduled with the earliest date possible.

The result is the time saved ― and the earlier Medical Confidence is involved in a patient’s journey for specialist care, the greater the savings.

On average, Medical Confidence can reduce a client’s wait for specialist care by 220 days (just over 7 months), across all specialties and all provinces.

Savings by Specialty

During COVID, the amount of time saved has increased due partially to the company’s ability to find creative solutions to improve their access to specialist care. For specialties that often involve long waits for surgery, like Orthopedic Surgery or Neurosurgery, the savings can be quite high, but the savings are also significant for specialties like psychiatry.

Learn about the impacts of the pandemic on health care in part one or watch the webinar to hear the entire discussion. Connect with your Medavie Blue Cross representative to learn more about our disability prevention and management options.

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