Insights & Articles
Helping Your Patient Beyond the Hospital
Your patient who is ready to be discharged from hospital comes to you about their concerns related to their ability to access benefits and treatment in the community. Below are some treatments and benefits which may be available to your patient that would be worth discussing with them.
If your patient’s discharge from the hospital is occurring following treatment of injuries from a motor vehicle accident regardless of who is at fault, ongoing outpatient therapies and treatment may be funded by their accident benefits insurer (their own insurance company). This can include treatment by occupational therapists, physiotherapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, psychologists, social workers, and other specialized treatment providers. There are many clinics and rehabilitation facilities in our community who have extensive experience working with automotive insurance claims and can assist patients in navigating the change from inpatient treatment in the hospital to community based services. Depending on the level of benefits available to your patient, a nurse case manager or occupational therapist can assist in this transition of care.
Following discharge from hospital, patients may not be in a position to return to their pre-accident or pre-illness occupation. It may be wise for patients to determine whether they have access to short term disability or long term disability benefits and to make an application for those benefits, if available. Though each policy is different, these benefits often provide a monthly payment to an individual and is a percentage of their income. If an application for these benefits is denied or if payment of benefits is terminated by the insurer, these patients should consult with a lawyer experienced in this area of law to review and potentially dispute this denial or termination. In addition, depending on the nature and permanency of your patient’s disability and inability to return to work, they may consider applying for the Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit which they can do with the help of their family doctor.
Treatment and discharge from hospital that relates to a workplace injury may mean that your patient is entitled to access Workplace Safety and Insurance Board benefits (WSIB). Access to these benefits may provide a patient with benefits for loss of earnings or treatment, among other benefits.
Ensuring patients have the knowledge about benefits and supports which may be available to them in the community will go a long way to providing them with comfort as they transition from hospital treatment to community based services.
This article was originally written for and published in Hospital News May 2022 Edition.