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Ontario WSIB launches specialized care for shoulder injuries

By Mari-Len De Guzman

The Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) will be offering new services for workers with shoulder injuries beginning Oct. 31, 2012.

These new services, specific to shoulder injuries, include: informational material on shoulder injuries; a Shoulder Program of Care for treatment soon after their injury; and early expert assessments through Shoulder Specialty Clinics for those workers who have not progressed in their recovery, have not returned to work (RTW) or progressed in their RTW plan, the WSIB said.

Shoulder injuries were previously included in the Upper Extremity Injuries Program of Care (UEI POC) by the WSIB. With this new service, there is now a Program of Care (POC) exclusively for shoulder injuries, the WSIB said.

The Shoulder Program of Care (Shoulder POC) is an evidence-based health-care delivery plan that describes treatment shown to be effective for people with a shoulder injury, the WSIB said. The program is specific to the treatment of workers with a shoulder injury for up to eight weeks of care, from the date of first assessment/treatment. Treatment interventions include worker education, injury treatment — including exercise and manual therapy — and return to work planning.

The new Shoulder POC program will apply to all workers with a new shoulder injury on or after Oct. 31, 2012 who require treatment. If a health professional determines a worker is not eligible for the Shoulder POC, or the worker is not progressing as anticipated, the health professional must contact the WSIB to discuss the case.

In the absence of pre-approved exceptions, the WSIB will only pay for treatment provided through the Shoulder POC. Regular fee for service treatment will not be covered as a first line of care, according to the WSIB.


For more complex cases or for workers who are not progressing as expected, a new specialized shoulder assessment is available at WSIB Shoulder Specialty Clinics.

Visit the WSIB's Shoulder Program of Care site for more details.

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