For the first time, Executive members of the Specialists of BC met with the deputy minister of health to discuss how we could improve quality and efficiency in BC’s healthcare system. With Stephen Brown and his colleagues, we agreed to initiate Specialist Ventures, which will take specialists’ ideas about healthcare and develop them at a high level. Patient cohering and regular interdisciplinary ward rounds improved care and reduced length of acute stays by 25 per cent for Kelowna General’s stroke patients last year. Applied more broadly, these initiatives could become a Specialist Venture. Traditionally, the Society of Specialists (now Specialists of BC) was mostly concerned with fees, disparities, and inter-sectional monetary issues. Specialists Ventures is one way that we are shifting our focus to achieve better working conditions for specialists and support improved patient health outcomes. We are the Specialists of BC. We are a place where Specialists have a clear voice and that voice is represented.
Orthopedic Surgery says: 1. Regularly talk to your billing person about how s/he submits the different types of billings such as night, weekend and transfer of emergency patients to ensure you are in sync. 2. There are modifications of the elective booking language to try to reflect the degree of urgency better and therefore the priority code used for the patient’s booking. Discussing these modifications with your booking person or MOA should result in fewer total joints being booked as category 5 (26 weeks) and more as category 4 (12 weeks). These completion times are optimal, not actual. If you have a great tip or idea, please let us know so we can share it! We will be establishing a section on our website for members of the Specialists of BC so that we can share these important tips.
The Medical Services Plan recently began insisting that when surgeons see a patient because a surgery is delayed, they can only be paid 80% of a consult. The Specialists of BC has been working to clarify the role and place of same-specialty second consultations. Through the Tariff Committee, the Specialists of BC is appealing the MSP’s decision, which will affect surgical sections and may set a precedent for other groups as well.
“As somebody who teaches residents and fellows, and is frequently retained by the CMPA to help establish standards of care, I believe that operating on a patient without personally performing an up-to-date consultation is below the standard of care in Canada. In the setting of trauma, up to date means just before you operate, ” said Dr Kevin Wing, head of the section of Orthopedic Surgery.
The specialist disparity process dictated by the current Physician Master Agreement is underway in earnest. Arbitrator Dr Stephen Toope has agreed to make all submissions available on line for review by the parties before he delivers his judgment by December 15, 2015. The Specialists of BC continues to be available for assistance to groups involved and to facilitate the dissemination of information.
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