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2002 Annual Report

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Schedule S – Summary of Joint Committee Work


  1. The Joint Committee (“JC”) has a mandate of implementing the 1986-1990 Hepatitis C Settlement Agreement and Plans and supervising the ongoing administration of claims.

  2. The JC worked on a regular basis with the Administrator to assist in getting claims processed efficiently. The JC held quarterly meetings with the Administrator and had extensive involvement with the Administrator as follows:

    1. met with the Administrator to ensure adequate management was in place;

    2. assisting with the launching of the Hep C 8690 web site in English and French;

    3. completing drafting of the Loss of Income forms;

    4. determining compensable out-of-pocket expenses;

    5. tracking claim activity and efficiency of payment of claims;

    6. evaluating performance of the administrator;

    7. developing a strategy to improve claim processing time and claimant satisfaction; and

    8. monitoring complaints.

  3. The JC prepared additional Court Approved Protocols and Standard Operating Procedures to govern and guide the Administrator in handling claims and claimants, including the following:

    1. Court Approved Protocol for claims where one or more family members and/or dependants is a minor or a mentally incompetent adult;

    2. Court Approved Protocol establishing the rules for arbitration/references;

    3. Court Approved Protocol for acceptable medical evidence;

    4. Standard Operating Procedure for claims involving potential non-prescription intravenous drug use; and

    5. Standard Operating Procedure pertaining to payments for cost of care.

    The JC also dealt with revisions to existing Court Approved Protocols and Standard Operating Procedures and provided guidance to the Administrator with respect to difficult and exceptional cases.

  4. The JC established an appeals process for claimants whose claims were denied by the Administrator. To this end, the JC implemented an arbitration and reference procedure with an applicable costs tariff and hired arbitrators and referees to hear appeals.

  5. The JC was responsible for recommending appointment of service providers to the courts, negotiating budgets for service providers, obtaining court orders pertaining to approval of their budgets, instructing service providers and receiving and assessing advice and reports for service providers. The service providers to which this description applies include:

    1. the trustee;

    2. the investment managers;

    3. the investment consultants;

    4. the auditors;

    5. the actuaries;

    6. physicians who assist in medical modelling; and

    7. epidemiologists

  6. The JC was primarily responsible for liasing with Canadian Blood Services and Hema- Quebec on traceback issues and plans for expediting tracebacks. To this end, the JC has done the following:

    1. met with Canadian Blood Services to develop strategies to improve the speed of the traceback process;

    2. met with Canadian Blood Services to obtain their assistance in requesting claimants' medical records from hospitals;

    3. met with Canadian Blood Services to implement a lookback process to improve traceback results; and

    4. met with Canadian Blood Services to develop a procedure for testing stored frozen samples.

  7. During the second year of operations, the JC prepared the first Annual Report with respect to all aspects of the administration of the Settlement Agreement and Plans. The courts approved the Annual Report.

  8. The JC is required to report to the Courts in June 2002 with respect to fund sufficiency. In preparation for this hearing, the JC has done the following:

    1. worked with experts retained to assist with medical modelling;

    2. worked with an expert to review class size estimates;

    3. worked with experts to assist with determining relevant assumptions for the sufficiency analysis; and,

    4. facilitated the exchange of information between medical modellers, epidemiologists, the administrator, Canadian Blood Services and Hema-Quebec.

  9. The JC commenced the year holding weekly conference calls and now holds bi-weekly conference calls to discuss and resolve administrative issues as they arise. The JC also holds tri-weekly conference calls with Fund Counsel, the Administrator and Justice Winkler’s monitor to discuss and resolve issues as they arise.

  10. The JC has also done the following to improve the administration of the Plans:

    1. addressed the complaints and inquiries of class members;

    2. met frequently with the Administrator and assisted in the development of claims forms; and

    3. met with Canadian Blood Services and Hema-Quebec to ensure the efficiency of the traceback process continually improves.

  11. The JC has frequently appeared before the Courts of Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec to seek orders as necessary for the implementation and administration of the Plans and to report to the Courts on all of the above issues.