Billing changes in Alberta could affect patient care
2020-01-10 from healthing.ca
EDMONTON — Alberta doctors say they haven’t ruled out a court challenge to the province’s billing rule changes that physicians say could profoundly affect patient care.
Dr. Christine Molnar, head of the Alberta Medical Association, says the court route is not preferred, but all options need to be kept open during ongoing negotiations with the United Conservative government.
“I don’t really think a legal solution is the answer, (but) we obviously have a fiduciary responsibility to our members to support and protect them, and we will use every available means to do that,” Molnar said Thursday in an interview.
The province is set to impose new rules that tie payments to how long a doctor sees a patient.
Right now, doctors get $41 as a base fee for each patient visit no matter how long the visit lasts.
The province added an extra fee a decade ago to recognize that some patients have multiple or complex issues to diagnose and doctors should be compensated for overly long visits.
Once visits go past 15 minutes, doctors can add another 10 minutes and bill the province an extra $18, bringing the total fee to $59.
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