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Coming June 2016: Legislative Changes to Catastrophic Assessments

Posted on May 27th, 2016 by Don Kunkel

CAT UpdatesIn April 2015, the Ontario Government announced changes to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule coming into effect on June 1, 2016. Some of the most notable changes are coming to the catastrophic impairment definitions – including how they are tested.

For providers completing Catastrophic Assessments, it’s important to know about these changes and be prepared for them when they arrive.

Upcoming Changes to Catastrophic Impairment Definitions and Testing

Catastrophic Assessments are undertaken to ascertain the intensity of a person’s injuries, often following a motor vehicle accident, by evaluating the victim’s mental, behavioural, and physical state. The purpose of the upcoming amendments is to identify and assist the most seriously injured persons.

Following the changes, catastrophic impairment definitions will include:

  • New descriptions for traumatic brain injuries and medical tools and tests to categorize impairments, updated to reflect medical advances, including the GOS-E and KOSCHI tests.
  • Updated criteria for loss of vision, amputations, ambulatory mobility, and behavioural or mental impairments.
  • Using the 6th edition (instead of the 4th) of the American Medical Association’s Guides for determining a numerical Whole Person Impairment (WPI) for mental and behaviour disorders

New tests being used include:

  • The GOS-E test for adults and the KOSCHI scale for children suffering from brain injuries
  • The ASIA (American Spinal Injury Association) protocols to determine the degree of spinal cord impairment
  • SCI-M (Spinal Cord Independence measure) to define impairment of ambulation
  • Continue to use the Whole Person Impairment test (WPI), introducing portions of the 6th AMA Guides

How AssessMed is Preparing for the Changes to Catastrophic Assessments

AssessMed is committed to staying ahead of the changes – initiating in-house training sessions and ensuring our CAT team continues at attend external educational seminars – to guarantee we continue to deliver accurate, reliable assessments.

Do you want to learn more about these upcoming changes? Our CAT team, composed of a Director of Quality Assurance(QA), CAT Clinical Coordinator, Executive Medical Director, and two senior QA CAT Reps, have over 70 years of combined experience and are ready to respond to your unique needs.


AssessMed has been providing Canada-wide Independent Medical Examination (IME) services since 1991. Contact us today to learn about our suite of CARF-accredited offerings.

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