HCAI is set to take a major step toward optimisation and compliance with the addition of its first form, Form 1 (Assessment of Attendant Care Needs).
Form 1 is completed by a designated health care practitioner and submitted to the auto insurance company on behalf of a person injured in a motor vehicle accident (the claimant) for qualified personal care expenses incurred. Form 1 is slated to be added to HCAI system as an available OCF form this fall.
The outdated and costly Form 1 process
Currently, the preparation and submission of Form 1 poses a number of challenges for health care facilities (HCFs) and insurance companies alike.
- The preparation of FSCO is done either manually (paper) or on-line and printed. As a standalone form, all of the information must be entered from scratch. This approach incurs more time and may have more data entry errors. Thus, it is neither efficient nor cost-effective.
- The transmission of this form from HCFs to insurance companies are, in some cases non-compliant, or may take several days to reach the adjuster. Forms are transmitted via Facsimile, post mail or courier.
- Facsimile is not considered as a secured method of transmitting sensitive medical information and is therefore non-compliant. While many secure file transfer programs are readily available to the sector, adjusters rarely share their email coordinates with HCFs, rendering secure file transfer services useless.
- The post mail option adds a few days to the adjudication process, delaying critical care for the injured person. While the courier option is faster, it adds a layer of cost.
- A printed Form 1 has added challenges for HCFs and insurance companies. First, this form must be scanned and stored securely. Second, the paper copies must be either shredded or stored appropriately. Third, a printed or scanned Form 1 has very limited data analytics value for the company and or industry.
New integrated Form 1 adds compliance and efficiency
The addition of Form 1 to HCAI enhances the HCAI system in several ways and paves the way for HCAI to become a fully integrated and efficient portal serving the auto insurance industry and more than 10,000 healthcare practitioners in Ontario. Here are five key benefits.
- The electronic transmission of Form 1 through HCAI allows for it to be integrated with a Case Management Software like Skedulex, accurately completing significant portions of the form. This approach saves time and minimises data entry errors.
- The transmission of Form 1 via the HCAI system to insurance companies is fully compliant with all the laws for transmission of sensitive medical information.
- The electronic transmission is done instantaneously. It paves the way for an efficient response by the adjuster, saving the adjuster time while providing faster adjudication of the file, with accruing benefits to all of the stakeholders.
- The addition of Form 1 has a technology benefit for stakeholders of the HCAI system. It paves the way for all of the other HCAI forms and related documents to be integrated into the HCAI system. Such integration will further enhance the efficiency and compliance of the sector.
- Electronic forms and storage provide excellent opportunities for data analytics and data intelligence for HCFs, insurance companies and the industry, as a whole. Everyone agrees that the electronic aggregation of data provides a goldmine of information which can be analysed to provide further understanding of the services provided, its effectiveness and efficacy, and a whole lot more.
Integrated forms are the way of the future. It is efficient and aligns with the body of well -articulated benefits of EMR systems and plans for integration with the broader health care system in Ontario.
Move to electronic signatures
HCAI has one additional step to remove – the manual signing of Form 1 by the Assessor. To this end, it has been argued that Form 1 is a legal document and must be signed. But so too are millions of cheques processed every day and regulated by FSCO. There must be a way to implement an electronic signature for health practitioners. Rid the Printing!
As a final comment, let me acknowledge that some readers may take issue with the headline of this article. It was not meant to suggest that HCAI is not a compliant system. It does suggest that HCAI (along with FSCO and insurance companies) has a legal, fiduciary and leadership responsibility to create conditions for compliant operations within the sector. If you accept this premise, the headline becomes less objectionable.
Kudos to HCAI on the Form 1 integration!