Notice to the Profession: COVID-19 Fees

We recognize that in extraordinary times you may have to do extraordinary things and take extraordinary precautions to protect your staff, the families you serve, and indeed the public. We recognize that although you always take routine precautions when preparing a body, there are times when the protective measures required for the remainder of your operations are anything but routine

If the costs associated with those measures are above and beyond your normal practice, then you are entitled to recover these costs.  

But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Any decision to recover costs for infection control must be careful and considered, as assessing extra charges, particularly now, can look opportunistic, can add anguish to a grieving family, and can damage public confidence in the profession. 

Some firms are improperly assessing a COVID-19 fee when their costs are less. For example, in removals from hospitals and long-term care (LTC), you are receiving a body in a sealed bag which requires less personal protective equipment (PPE) and involves less risk than an initial transfer of a body from a residence, hospice or retirement home where more PPE and more disinfection would be justified.

Ultimately any charges related to contagion must be justifiable to the families you serve and the BAO. 

Charges for infection control should meet the following tests:

1. Detailed on the price list and explained to the consumer. 
2. Itemized in detail and not a flat-fee or described as “COVID fee.”
3. For recovery of real costs for infection control above and beyond routine services.
4. Apply to all contagious cases, (SARS, hepatitis, etc.) not just COVID-19.

– Carey Smith, CEO/Registrar, BAO 

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