Introducing our new STD Attending Physician’s Statement

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In April 2010, we launched our new suite of STD and LTD claim form packages, which included our new Claim Guides (a reference document for your plan members), as well as updates to our current suite of initial claim forms.

You may have noticed that the one form that didn’t change was the STD Attending Physician’s Statement (APS). Our new STD APS is now ready and will replace the existing version of this form.

What is different?

Through a joint collaboration involving representatives from the insurance industry, the CLHIA (Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association) and both provincial and national medical associations, a new industry standard STD APS has been created. Our new STD APS is in line with this new industry standard form.

This form was created to:

  • lessen the administrative burden on physicians, yet continue to obtain the medical and functional information required for claim assessments;
  • ensure that the most appropriate and relevant questions are asked of physicians; and
  • potentially reduce the cost for the completion of the forms, which is borne by the plan member.

Highlights of the changes

  • We will no longer have diagnostic-specific forms for the initial submission of STD claims. All questions that were unique to our diagnostic-specific STD APS are captured within our new form.
  • The new form is in two parts. If the plan member’s recovery is not expected to take longer than four weeks, the physician only needs to complete the first page of the form.
  • The form is easy to read and provides more space for the physician to respond.
  • In keeping with the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) and Canadian Medical Association’s (CMA) evolving Return to Work philosophies, we will no longer be asking the physician for an expected return-to-work date. The OMA and CMA emphasize the role of the physician as a facilitator for return to work, rather than the one who determines when a return to work will happen. In addition, often the physician asks patients when they think they will be able to return to work. Since the focus on return to work is an important part of any disability absence, the form will ask this question of the plan member instead. If you recently ordered the new STD claim form package, which included the prior version of the STD APS, don’t worry; you can continue to submit claims on the prior version, but we encourage you to update your stock of this form as soon as it makes sense to do so. Ideally, we would like to move all STD claim submissions over to this new form as soon as possible. The forms can be ordered directly by email from MTL_Group_Services@sunlife.com.

If you have not already ordered our updated STD or LTD claim form packages, please do so as soon as possible. The updates to these forms are designed to improve the claim submission process for both your plan members and Sun Life.

What other form changes are in the works?

Work is ongoing to update the suite of forms used in our ongoing case management. Most of these forms are used if they are deemed to be the most efficient method of collecting the information required in the management of the claim.

While the primary audience of these forms is the plan member, there are a few that you may receive over the next few months that will look a little different (e.g., the plan sponsor STD-LTD Transition form)

Custom forms

Work continues on updating all custom forms. If you have custom forms, your Sun Life group benefits representative will let you know when they have been replaced.

Questions?

Please contact your Sun Life Financial group benefits representative.