Additional Information for Health Care Providers
Information specific to the role of health care providers in facilitating patient access to the Travel Assistance Program is available on this page. Find out who is eligible to refer patients to TAP, and how to order and complete forms. Information for hospitals and speciality clinics can also be found here.
Role of the Referring Physician or Nurse Practitioner in the Travel Assistance Program
Request for Travel Assistance application forms (HLTH 2900) are made available to physician and nurse practitioner offices throughout British Columbia by Health Insurance BC (HIBC). The forms are sequentially numbered and are only provided to physicians, nurse practitioners and medical specialty services, including hospitals.
Complete program information, including patient and escort eligibility criteria, is contained under Information for B.C. Residents.
Please note that TAP does not provide direct financial assistance to patients for travel costs or make travel arrangements for patients. Meals, accommodation, mileage, fuel and local transportation expenses are not included in TAP and are the responsibility of the patient.
How to Obtain TAP Forms
Physicians and Nurse Practitioners can order TAP forms by:
Telephone: Call 1 800 661-2668 (toll-free in B.C.) or 250 952-2657 (in Victoria). This is the automated TAP line at Health Insurance BC (HIBC) and the MSP Practitioner Number of the physician or nurse practitioner is required for entry. The automated TAP line is available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.
Facsimile: Fax your request to HIBC Provider Services at 250 405-3592. Please provide the name of the physician or nurse practitioner, full mailing address, and MSP Practitioner Number.
How to Complete a TAP Form
The office of the referring physician or nurse pracitioner completes Part One of the form, including the 'Escort Required' box, and ensures the form is properly signed or stamped.
Transportation partners have the right to refuse an incomplete or altered TAP form. Only one TAP form should be issued at time of referral.
Please enter the following information on the TAP form:
- Name of the referring physician or nurse practitioner and practitioner number;
- Destination physician's name and practitioner number;
- In cases where the patient is not referred to a specific physician (diagnostic procedures, laboratory procedures, diagnostic radiology, nuclear medicine procedures, BC Cancer Agency, Transplant Units, HIV/AIDS treatment at St. Paul's Hospital, specialty clinics at BC Children's Hospital and other tertiary care hospitals), please check the "specialty services" box on the form;
- Destination city;
- Destination appointment date;
- Escort required or not required (see eligibility, Information for B.C. Residents); and
- Physician or nurse practitioner signature or stamp, and current date.
Once the TAP form has been completed by the referring physician or nurse practitioner, give the TAP form to the patient and ask them to fill in the address block, including postal code and telephone number and to sign the declaration on the front of the form. Instructions and information are included on the back of the form.
Additional program information is available here (Information for B.C. Residents).
The patient then telephones the program to obtain a confirmation number prior to travel. Patients are encouraged to call two weeks prior to their date of travel, and not to wait until the night before their appointment to contact TAP, if possible. The TAP automated application service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, toll-free in B.C.: 1 800 661-2668.
Note: Patients are responsible for making their own travel and accommodation arrangements. There is no reimbursement after travel has been completed.
Information for Destination Physician or Specialty Clinic
There is no provision for repeat visits on the TAP form. If another appointment is required as part of the same course of treatment, the destination physician's office or medical specialty service should issue another TAP form for the patient at the time the next appointment is made, entering their own name and practitioner number in both the referring and destination physician spaces.
Only one form should be issued at a time. The procedure must be repeated each time another appointment is required. The patient must contact the program for a confirmation number each time a form is issued.
Information for Hospitals
Forms can also be provided to eligible patients from the Social Work departments of major hospitals, the BC Cancer Agency, Centre for Excellence at St. Paul's Hospital, Transplant Clinics, and other hospital based specialty clinics.
If hospital staff are assisting a patient to return home who arrived by ground or air ambulance, they should fill in Part Two - Hospital Use Only and sign or stamp the form in the signature space provided (the hospital social work department may sign or stamp the form).