A new payment model for primary care physicians in B.C. went into effect Wednesday, giving doctors the option to scrap an outdated fee system that has reportedly kept new recruits and veterans alike out of work.
The new framework will allow physicians to do away with the current service fee system of paying a flat fee per patient visit and instead be paid for a variety of duties that accompany their work.
Health Secretary Adrian Dix said at a press conference outlining the changes: “I believe this is the most significant primary care reform in my lifetime in the history of the public health system.
“It can help address pay inequality, attract and retain family physicians, and increase the number of physicians available to provide care to people in BC.”
Through the reimbursement system, doctors are paid about $30 per patient visit, whether they are treating a simple cold or a complex chronic illness.
BC’s new model, called the Long Term Family Physician (LFP) payment model, allows physicians to be paid according to the number and complexity of patients they see each day.
The state said it means family physicians will be paid for extra time with patients, especially those who need more support, such as the elderly and those with mental health conditions.
You will also be paid for time spent on other necessary tasks, such as reviewing test results, consulting with other medical professionals, updating patient lists, and clinical administrative duties.
Dr. Joshua Gregain of the BC Medical Association called the model “revolutionary” and said, “Today is a new day with options to provide care that family physicians have always wanted but couldn’t.” rice field.
Dix said 1,043 out of about 4,000 eligible doctors from all five health authorities signed up for the new model on the first day. He expected that number to increase “significantly” in the coming days and weeks.
Most primary care physicians in British Columbia are independent contractors who pay for overhead costs such as office space, staff, and medical equipment to practice their practices as a business. The cost of running a clinic is driving many future physicians to choose other medical fields.
In 2020, the Canadian College of Family Physicians sought alternative funding models to reimbursement schemes to better support continuity of care and prevent primary care physician turnover.
Under the new framework, the average family doctor in BC will rise from about $250,000 to about $385,000.
The number of people without a primary care doctor in British Columbia more than doubled from 2003 to 2017. A shortage of primary care physicians in the state is straining other medical areas, such as emergency care centers and emergency rooms.
One in five residents didn’t have a GP in the latter year, but Dix expected that number to rise.
WATCH | Adrian Dix details the new contract in October: