Every medical regulatory body across Canada has a standard or policy for physicians providing virtual care and these standards and policies vary throughout the country. These standards and policies also include instructions and restrictions for how physicians providing virtual care must bill to receive payment for their services.
Due to the increased need for virtual care throughout the pandemic, several provinces developed temporary systems and codes for physicians to use to bill for virtual care. However, the standards and processes for physicians to receive payments, or even to provide virtual care, continue to vary from province to province.
Here’s how current policies for virtual care billing in Ontario differ from those policies in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Nova Scotia.
Virtual Care Payment Plans in Canada
Before analyzing virtual care billing processes in Ontario and across other provinces, it is important to recognize that there are two main types of virtual care billing processes in Canada, alternative payment plans and fee for service (FFS).
What is Alternative Payment Plan?
Alternative payment plans operate on the notion that care will be provided most efficiently and effectively for the patient. Payments can be made in a variety of ways, including capitation, bundled payments, block payments, salary, or blended models. Two advantages of alternative payment plans are that they do not restrict physicians from being paid through alternate models, and they readily adapt to changes in patient preferences and technology. Alternative payment plans are currently only in use in the Northwest Territories.
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Related: Microsoft Health Solutions