Many GPs are working in practice teams to increase capacity for themselves and their practices. To support this approach, and in response to physician feedback through the GPSC visioning consultations, the GPSC has simplified and aligned some of its incentive fees.
“The new fees are easier to understand, more consistent, better support team-based care, and aim to provide access to quality primary medical care for more patients in BC,” says Dr George Watson, Incentive Program Working Group Co-Chair.
Many of the updated GPSC incentive fees enable physicians to delegate to a College Certified Allied Care Provider (ACP) or medical office assistant (MOA) to perform duties that were previously initiated by doctors. The new GP-Patient Email/Text/Telephone Medical Advice Relay fee (G14078) allows physicians to delegate communication with patients to MOAs or ACPs, which increases patient access to medical information and leaves physicians more time to focus on complex issues.
For example, a patient visits her doctor’s office, provides a urine sample, and is prescribed an antibiotic. The next day, the doctor receives the culture results and realizes the bacteria is resistant to the antibiotic that was prescribed. Instead of the doctor having to call the patient directly, with this new fee, the doctor is now able to have an MOA call, text, or email the patient to relay information.
Additionally, the GPSC Chronic Disease Management incentives (G14050, G14051, G14052, G14053) have been amended to allow a College Certified ACP to provide one of the two required visits, which would be indicated by billing the new Allied Care Provider Visit incentive (G14029). Requests for urgent telephone advice initiated by an ACP are now eligible under the GP with Specialty Training Urgent Telephone Advice fee (G14021).
“All of this enables more opportunities for physicians and ACPs to connect with their patients and each other,” says Dr Watson. “This will also help to improve patient access to care.“
For example, the Mental Health Management fee (G14043) has been updated to allow delivery of care via videoconferencing, which previous fees did not allow. The Planning Visits for Complex Care and Palliative Care fee (G14063) has also expanded to enable College-certified Allied Care Providers working within the practice to undertake appropriate non-face-to-face planning tasks.
”With greater flexibility in the provision and delivery of care, doctors and their patients can save time,” says Dr Watson. “Having more time available can increase practice capacity and, ultimately, patient access to longitudinal care.”