Registered care advisors

On November 9, 2018, the provincial government announced new Insurance (Vehicle) Regulations for the treatment of motor vehicle accident injuries that allow for the creation of a list of medical care consultants called registered care advisors (RCAs).

Through the upcoming annual licence renewal process, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia (the College) will verify that registrants interested in becoming RCAs are qualified and otherwise eligible.

What is a registered care advisor (RCA)?

The role of the RCA is to provide expedited medical consultations to patients of motor vehicle crashes, with the intention of advising family physicians on best practice and appropriate diagnosis and treatment pathways. They are available for a second opinion in the following scenarios:

  • physician is unable to make a clear diagnosis
  • patient is not recovering as expected
  • there are factors complicating the patient’s recovery.

How does the process work?

The treating physician will refer patients to an RCA for an assessment when they require a second opinion to inform their diagnosis and/or treatment plan. This must take place no later than 90 days after the date of the accident that caused the injury. The treating physician and RCA should communicate to ensure the patient is provided with the most appropriate care. It is important to note that in order to maintain independence from the process, ICBC is not involved in these conversations.

After the initial assessment and report, RCAs will be compensated by ICBC at a limit of $389. A follow up assessment, where required, will be compensated at a limit of $123 (this is based on Schedule 3.1 Table 2 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Regulations).

Who can become an RCA?

The following are the prescribed requirements and qualifications for RCAs:

(a) must be a registrant in good standing with the College and registered in the full class of registration

(b) must be current for clinical practice (as defined in Appendix 3 of the regulation)

(c) must provide to the College a declaration in accordance with section 8 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Regulation

(d) must be registered in the registered care advisor register

(e) must be competent in one or more of the following relevant disciplines:

  • musculoskeletal injuries
  • acute and chronic pain
  • mental health issues and other psychosocial issues

The College will verify that applicants are in the full class of registration in a relevant discipline, and are not otherwise limited in providing assessments due to limits, conditions, undertakings, etc. Registrants in the provisional class or disciplined class of registration are not eligible to apply.

How can I apply to become an RCA?

Physicians can apply to become an RCA through the College’s Annual Licence Renewal Form.

More information

The RCA Information Guide provides more details about the RCA role.

For further information or questions, please reach out to your College.