Health care payments
Health care payments are made to or on behalf of people with injuries or illnesses, and in 2017 represented 19 per cent of total payments. While overall benefit payments increased by five per cent from 2016 to 2017, health care payments had the largest increase at 15 per cent.
The decrease in health care payments between 2013 and 2016 can be attributed to a decrease in the overall number of claims, and the implementation of the health care and narcotics strategies. Our expanded province-wide network of expert, specialized medical assessment and treatment services ensures that people have access to high quality providers. When needed, specialized hospital-based clinics are used for more complex injuries or workplace occupational illnesses. The narcotics strategy includes increased oversight of how narcotics support treatment goals, including quality of function, quality of life, and safe and sustained return to work.
The increase in health care costs between 2016 and 2017 can be attributed mainly to the increased expenditures related to the specialized clinical services and programs. These services and programs are associated with our overall health care strategy, an important systemic change that has had a large impact on recovery outcomes. In addition, there was a one-time liability adjustment in 2016 for amounts owed based on best estimates at that time. This adjustment reduced 2016 health care expense by $59M.
Health care benefit payments by service categories by payment year
Footnote: *The 2016 figure reflects a liability adjustment of $59M based on the most recent estimates of amounts owing.