By Janet McKeown MD CCFP DipSportsMed, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, University of British Columbia and Clinical Care Lead, UBC Health Clinic (biography and disclosures)
Disclosures: Dr. McKeown has received honorarium from BC College of Family Physicians (BCCFP) which was used to pay individuals who worked on this tool. Dr. McKeown did not keep any of the honorarium. Dr. McKeown is the medical lead for the Westside Neighbourhood Mobile Care Unit. No bias or conflict of interest. Mitigating potential bias: The recommendations are consistent with published provincial and federally government funded resources and current practice patterns.
What I did before
For many years as a family physician I have completed government assistance forms for my patients. Some forms longer than others, some that I couldn’t find on line, some that I was unsure if I could bill for, some that were provincial forms and others, federal and then there was assistance that needed a letter and no form.
I suspect I have not been alone scratching my head in bewilderment and feeling slightly challenged around health related government assistance and their forms!
What changed my practice
For 2 1/2 yrs I have been a medical lead for an outreach team, the Mobile Care Unit, MCU, in Vancouver that provides social assistance and medical care for a marginalized population during community meals. Slowly, I have gleaned some knowledge of social services available and together with a team from MCU, we have developed a 2 page tool, Government Assistance: Health Resources and Forms.
This tool with its’ many links has been created to help BC physicians and nurse practitioners navigate their way through health related provincial and federal assistance, forms and how to bill for them.
What I do now
I have begun to use our tool, Government Assistance: Health Resources and Forms, which is now available on Pathways. The tool has helped me understand assistance with a more organized approach. It has helped me access information quickly and it has helped me be more knowledgeable about billing provincially, federally and privately. It is also an efficient tool to use in a teaching environment to help learners better understand government assistance.
Hopefully my colleagues and I won’t be scratching our heads in bewilderment as frequently and instead, we can be more efficient with our clinical time.
As updates do occur on government websites, the links for this tool will be updated yearly on Pathways.
Browse, use, and feedback is welcome!
Tool: view and download. This tool has many links which are active and clickable.
Acknowledgement: Supported by a grant from the BC College of Family Physicians. Last edit: January 2020
Credits and Work of: Westside Anglicans Neighbourhood Ministry – Mobile Care Unit, Janet McKeown MD CCFP, Benita Yi BSW RSW, UBC
Family Medicine Resident – Jesse Kancir MD MSc MPhil, UBC Medical Students – Vionarica Gusti BSc and Edward Fang BSc (Pharm)
Handout: Case Examples: view and download.