The Medical Services Commission of British Columbia and Telus Health have reached a settlement regarding Telus’s LifePlus program.
Telus Health has worked with the commission and committed to make agreed-upon operational changes to its LifePlus program to ensure its compliance with the Medicare Protection Act. As a result of the pending modifications to the LifePlus program, the commission has suspended its pursuit of an injunction.
“We are pleased with the collaborative efforts between the Medical Services Commission and Telus Health to reach a settlement that upholds the principles of the Medicare Protection Act,” said Dr. Robert Halpenny, chair of the Medical Services Commission. “Telus’s commitment to amending its LifePlus program helps maintain the integrity of public health care in British Columbia.”
The settlement addresses concerns raised by the commission in its petition for injunction filed on Dec. 1, 2022, and ensures compliance with the Medicare Protection Act.
The injunction application was filed to prevent Telus Health from contravening Section 17 of the act by facilitating access, or priority access, to Medical Services Plan benefits through its LifePlus program.
The commission is committed to upholding the principles of the Medicare Protection Act. This settlement should serve as an indicator to others who may be offering expensive patient-funded health-care programs, that charging for access, or priority access, to medically necessary health care will be investigated.
- The Medical Services Commission is an independent, government-appointed body in British Columbia.
- Its role is to oversee the administration and operation of the Medical Services Plan (MSP) in the province.
- The MSC ensures fair and equitable access to medically necessary health-care services for all people in British Columbia.
- Section 17 of the Medicare Protection Act addresses extra-billing practices.
- Extra-billing is the practice of charging patients for benefits, or for priority access to benefits already covered by MSP.
- Section 17 prohibits health care practitioners from extra-billing patients to maintain the integrity of public health care in British Columbia.
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