General Guideline #1 - Use of Surveillance in DAC Assessments

Statement of Intent


In order for DACs to meet their objective of providing comprehensive unbiased and prompt assessments to both claimants and insurers, this guideline will provide direction to DACs in dealing with surveillance material.

This guideline is meant to clarify and replace the Guideline issued December, 1997. Very few DACs have actual experience in applying this guideline to the use of video surveillance as part of the assessment, and it is too soon to make any changes to the Guideline. The new target date for review of this guideline is October, 1998. The DAC Committee stresses that its guidelines are "living documents". The Committee will continue to review feedback concerning this guideline and make any refinements which may be necessary.

The Committee continues to encourage DACs to provide feedback as to their experience with the use of surveillance videotape in DAC assessments over the next few months, along with any suggestions they may have, to assist the Committee in making any necessary changes.

 

Video Surveillance:

If the insurer provides video surveillance, it will be reviewed by the DAC. Video surveillance must be received before any clinical DAC assessments are initiated. If video surveillance is received after the assessment(s) begins, DACs are required not to review the material and to return it to the insurer.

In its report, the DAC is required to comment on the surveillance information, providing a rationale as to why the surveillance information is used or not used in forming the DAC opinion.

Written (anecdotal) surveillance reports will be reviewed only as a supplement to video surveillance. Written surveillance reports will not  be used without an accompanying video.

If video surveillance is sent to the DAC, the claimant must be advised of the existence of the surveillance. If the DAC concludes the video surveillance will be of assistance in reaching its opinion/conclusion, then a clinical member of the assessment team will review the video surveillance with the claimant. This must be done during the DAC process in order to allow the claimant an opportunity to respond before the DAC reaches its final conclusion. The exact "who and when" will be left to the discretion of the individual DAC. The DAC report must include who reviewed the video surveillance with the claimant, and at what point during the DAC process the video surveillance was reviewed.

All DACs are expected to follow these guidelines. Failure to do so will be considered non-compliance on the part of the DAC.

We encourage feedback regarding this Guideline. Please let us know your experiences, and provide your suggestions, so that we may continue to improve the DAC system. Comments can be directed to:

 

The Minister's Committee on the Designated Assessment Centre System
c/o The Accident Benefits Analysis Unit
Ontario Insurance Commission
5160 Yonge Street
Toronto ON M2N 6L9

GG-1
June, 1998

 
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