FSRA Stakeholder Advisory Committee for Health Service Providers

Summary of the meeting of November 26, 2021
Via Teleconference

Stakeholder Advisory Committee members present:

Faith Kaplan – Ontario Psychological Association; Kaplan and Levitt Psychologists
Harold Becker – Omega Medical Associates
Laurie Davis – Ontario Rehab Alliance
Christina Harrington – Ontario Association of Social Workers
Moez Rajwani – Coalition of Health Professional Associations in Auto Insurance Services in Ontario
Karen Rucas – Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists
Dorianne Sauvé – Ontario Physiotherapy Association
Maria Scaringi – KIDSPEECH
John Spirou – CARE Institute Inc.
Mark Wigle – SOMA Medical Assessments Corp. and National IME Centres

Board members present:

Joanne De Laurentiis – Chair of the Board
Barbara Bellissimo – Director
Kathryn Bouey – Director
Blair Cowper-Smith – Director
Joseph Iannicelli – Director
Dexter John – Director
Stewart Lyons – Director
Lawrence Ritchie – Director
Brent Zorgdrager – Director

Management members present:

Mark White – Chief Executive Officer
Tim Bzowey – Executive Vice President, Auto/Insurance Products
Huston Loke – Executive Vice President, Market Conduct
Glen Padassery – Executive Vice President, Policy & Chief Consumer Officer
Stephen Power – Executive Vice President, Corporate Services
Randy Nanek – Chief Financial Officer
Dan Miles – Director, Corporate Communications
Stuart Wilkinson – Director, Auto/P&C Policy

Corporate Secretary’s Office:

Ligia Simoes – Assistant Corporate Secretary
Demola Oloyede – Board Administrator
Clint Savary – Assistant Corporate Secretary

General comments

The Chair of the Board called the meeting to order and provided introductory remarks.

The Committee made a presentation, highlighting the issues of dissatisfaction and concern. The Committee noted the direction they would like to see FSRA focus regulatory reform and regulation. The Committee discussed what they feel are gaps in the roles and responsibilities within the industry. It is noted that a supervisory plan was recently presented by FSRA that carried an accusatory tone and it was felt this is a setback for relations between FSRA and the industry, particularly as relates to trust.

FSRA staff noted that several aspects of the Committee’s presentation identified matters that were outside of the scope of FSRA’s authority.

The Committee highlighted their dissatisfaction with the License Appeal Tribunal.

It is noted that the process is not precedent-based so, there are instances where decision making in identical circumstances is varied. It is also noted that the License Appeal Tribunal is currently more than 18 months behind in the appeals process.

FSRA staff noted that the License Appeal Tribunal falls outside the FSRA purview.

The Committee observed that the submissions process is unchanged since FSCO became FSRA. It was also noted that FSRA seemed unaware of a well-known fraud cancelling scheme. Lastly, the Committee commented that an industry rate freeze for Health Service Providers since 2014 has made it difficult to competitively carry on business. The Committee commented that a key tool for health care, permitting access to billing information, is not available to Health Service Providers or claimants making it difficult for individuals to monitor their claims. The Committee noted that certain codes were not being processed by insurers.

Stakeholders representing regulatory colleges stated that they should not be regulated by FSRA as it creates a redundancy to have a regulator overseen by another regulator. The Committee noted that this issue is magnified by the absence of an experienced clinician within FSRA. The Committee is concerned that FSRA is not responsive to industry needs and feels there is a lack of focus on claimant protections relative to consumer protections. Certain stakeholders noted that as a self regulatory body they should have more freedom and less oversight.

Feedback on draft F2021-2022 Priorities and Business Plan

The Committee provided feedback on the draft F2021-2022 Priorities and Business Plan, specifically with respect to fees. FSRA management advised that it is working to optimize its regulatory activities and rely on certain oversight activities completed by the various colleges. Members of the Committee were invited to submit their views on ways to further optimize regulatory activities in the sector. The Committee noted that this will be a key component of the sector’s future discussions with FSRA and that COVID-19 has provided an opportunity to evaluate current regulation of the sector.