Our Journey to Medical Transportation Transformation

What is Transformation?
Where are we at?

In 2013, the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) assumed responsibility for programs and services from Health Canada. The Medical Transportation (MT) program is one of them. The MT program assists with transportation, accommodation and meals for clients as they travel to medical appointments outside their communities of residence.

Since its inception, the FNHA has undertaken two major transformations. The first was the creation of Plan W (Wellness) for drug benefits in 2017. In 2019, the FNHA entered into a partnership with Pacific Blue Cross for claims processing of dental, vision, medical supplies & equipment and mental wellness benefits.

Through community and leadership engagements and meetings, the FNHA heard the need for MT improvements suiting the diverse needs, and geography across the province. Our MT transformation journey began in March 2020. We are excited by the opportunity to take you along as we build a community-driven, Nation-based program to meet the needs of First Nations in BC.

 The FNHA is working with the First Nations Health Directors Association (FNHDA) and communities to transform the MT program. Use this webpage to learn about the planned and upcoming MT program changes.

Transformation

Engagement Opportunities

Recent Program Improvements

Training/ Education and Support

Journeys Update

Contact Us

For questions, comments, or feedback regarding the MT transformation project, please contact mtproject@fnha.ca

Benefit Improvements 

On March 14, 2022, FNHA announced a $0.05/km increase to MT mileage reimbursement rates. Effective May 16, 2022, the MT mileage rate increased by an additional $0.04/km to $0.32/km. This change will be in effect until August 31, 2022. The increase will also apply to the special mileage rate applicable to certain remote communities. Learn more.

The FNHA implemented two meal rate changes in 2021. These rate changes represent approximately a recurring $2 million investment in meal benefits for each year. More importantly, these changes support client choice and access to healthy food. Click here to read the full news story and view the current MT benefits. 

The updated 2021 MT Benefits Schedule has been published. The new benefit schedule helps to support delivery of MT benefits at the community level. 

Developing a Medical Transportation Administrative System

The FNHA has partnered with Bright Health Solutions to design and develop a web-based, online booking system to improve medical travel planning for PT Clerks and clients.
The FNHA is collaborating with experienced PT Clerks through the newly-formed MT User Group. The group provides the FNHA with input and feedback on the development of the new web-based MT administrative system.
If you are interested in participating, please email mtproject@fnha.ca.

Community is, and always has been, the heart of the work we do here. In May of 2021, we conducted an online survey of health leads across the province requesting their input on MT-related priority areas. The priorities highlighted by the 108 respondents who completed the survey and the priorities they highlighted became the basis of the virtual engagement sessions in fall 2021.

The FNHA and FNHDA co-hosted nine engagement sessions supporting MT transformation.  The sessions covered a wide range of topics such as cultural safety, provider selection, administrative processes and tools, budgeting, and capacity to deliver the program in First Nations communities. Through these sessions, several key themes emerged. They provide FNHA with a strong foundation for program improvements and, ultimately, transformation.

The report can be accessed 
here

The FNHA has updated the MT program training.  This new training program provides detailed instruction for all Health Leads and PT Clerks that deliver their MT programs to members in their communities.
 
The new training format involves higher training frequency and group discussions centred around common medical travel scenarios.

Please contact transportation@fnha.ca for support in signing up or to ask any questions you may have.

Updates to MT Benefits Schedule

On July 4, 2022, FNHA announced updates to MT Benefits Schedule.
MT requests for the following will now be considered regular MT benefits:

  • Opioid agonist treatment (OAT)
  • Withdrawal management (also referred to as detox)
  • FNHA-funded treatment centres

Patient Travel Clerks and Health Leads should refer to the PT Clerk User Guide for information on how to assess eligibility when coordinating medical transportation for these services.

On July 19, 2022, FNHA hosted a webinar on MT Benefit Schedule Updates via ZOOM. Click here for the presentation and notes.