Referrals for expedited consultations

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 49, No. 9, November 2007, Page 479 WorkSafeBC

If you have an injured worker patient with an accepted WorkSafeBC claim, you may now refer them, without our pre-approval, to a community specialist for an expedited consultation on the medical condition or body part specifically indicated on the claim. Expedited consults are provided by most specialist categories, including psychiatry and dermatology.

Checking the status of a claim

To verify claim information, ask your patient for the claim number, then go to the WorkSafeBC web site (, choose “View claim status,” and follow the instructions.

Referring to specialists

In your referral letter to the specialist, please include the following information:

• Confirmation that this is a WorkSafeBC claim
• The claim number, if known
• Date of injury
• Request for an expedited consultation

At the same time, please report the specialist referral, date, and specialist’s name on the F8/11 form.

Surgical referrals

When making a referral for a condition that will probably require surgery, consider choosing a surgeon who is able to expedite the surgery. Surgeons who have operating privileges at only public hospitals may not be able to offer expedited access to the OR.

If you have difficulty making an appropriate referral, please contact a medical advisor at your nearest WorkSafeBC office for assistance.

Pending or disallowed claims

If your patient’s claim is pending (i.e., not yet adjudicated), disallowed/suspended, or finalled (i.e., closed), WorkSafeBC will not pay for medical treatment unless it has been specifically authorized by the entitlement officer or case manager responsible for the claim. If you’re uncertain about the status of a claim or require specific authorization, please call the appropriate medical advisor or request a call by indicating on an F8/11 that you’d like to consult with a WorkSafeBC physician. (Medical advisors do not automatically see an F8/11 unless you request contact.)

Finding the appropriate WorkSafeBC medical advisor

Locating the appropriate medical advisor for your patient may not be as simple as calling the nearest WorkSafeBC office because claims are handled in the office where the injured worker’s employer is registered.

The first letter of your patient’s claim number identifies the office where the claim is being handled (see the Table). By phoning that office and talking to a medical advisor, you can check claim status and request authorization for referrals.

If your patient doesn’t know his or her claim number, you can request a call from the appropriate medical advisor on an F8/11 or call WorkSafeBC at 604 231-8888 (toll free 1 888 967-5377) and ask which medical advisor you should speak to.

WorkSafeBC’s Visiting Specialists’ Clinic

If you would like your patient to be seen at WorkSafeBC’s Visiting Specialists’ Clinic in our Richmond office, please contact a medical advisor to discuss the referral. Only WorkSafeBC medical advisors can refer to this clinic and, typically, referrals are for Lower Mainland patients for whom surgery is planned. Appointments are usually made within 4 to 6 weeks, so they’re generally no quicker than a community-expedited consult.

—Don Graham, MD, CCFP
WorkSafeBC Chief Medical Officer


Table. Letter codes identifying WorkSafeBC Offices.

The first letter of the claim number indicates which office is handling the claim.





North Vancouver


Prince George


















Occupational Disease claims at WorkSafeBC Richmond Head Office





"What's Up, Doc?"

WorkSafeBC/UBC Annual Physician Education Conference
Saturday, December 8, 2007 • Marriott Pinnacle, Vancouver


• Problems/Pitfalls in Orthopaedic Office Practice
• Preventing Needless Disability and Helping Patients Stay Employed
• Physicians: Our Occupational Hazards and Surviving a Career in Medicine
• Medical Legal Issues Pertaining to Return-to-work Workshops
• Approaches to Low Back Pain
• Work-related Asthma
• Assessing the Dizzy Patient
• Motivational Interviewing Techniques
• Opiates Rising: Prescribing for Chronic Non-cancer Pain
• Mitigating Disability: Negotiating Safe and Healthy Return-to-work Plans for Patients

For more information or to register, please call Christine Lynn at 604 276-3329 or toll free at 1 877 633-6233 or visit our web site (

Don Graham, MD, CCFP. Referrals for expedited consultations. BCMJ, Vol. 49, No. 9, November, 2007, Page(s) 479 - WorkSafeBC.

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