When we get a raise, compare income disparities, or perhaps even choose a specialty, what each of us pays in overhead is vitally important. Overhead studies undertaken in 1995 and 2005 showed just how difficult it is to obtain the highly varied information needed. The Specialists of BC wants to participate in the current study from the get go, before questionnaires are finalized and before anybody shares personal financial info. We aim to see that this study is fair and useful, and takes into account our members’ ideas. We met with MNP, the consulting accountants and discussed Alberta’s “Model Office” approach as well as the previous average section expense listings. A group of our members is going to be monitoring the interim results, helping to ensure we all follow and understand where this iteration is going.
The fee guide preamble specifies what is required for a proper consult: a history, appropriate examination, diagnostic formulation and treatment plan. The writeup for a simple arm fracture in a healthy young person likely will be shorter than the one for an older patient with complex presentation and multiple co-morbidities. Nevertheless, every consult must have those basic parts, and a one or two-line report is unlikely to pass an audit. Remember, to MSP if you didn’t write it, you didn’t do it!
Dr Stephen Toope released his binding recommendations on December 22. During the lead up to his decision, sections had an opportunity to put their best foot forward, showing how the data supported their requests. The Specialists of BC worked closely with the Doctors of BC economists to provide the information needed. Dr Toope relied heavily on the MANDI Model for intersectional (within BC) disparity results, and on Dr Evert Tuyp’s interprovincial fee code model for comparisons across the country. Application of these models left out some sections, and intense discussions on the results are underway. Each section who will receive an award is now tasked with recommending how those funds should be allocated within their own sections. Once this is done, the economics department and MSP need to confirm that the fee changes fit within the award. Be patient, as the last award took over a year to work its way from arbitrator’s decision into final new fees or fee schedule changes.
The newly recognized section of Palliative Medicine is set to join the Specialists of BC. We look forward to working with the more than 150 palliative care doctors in the province. Palliative Medicine has an FRCP in Palliative medicine as well as a CCFP certification, and the Specialists of BC welcomes them both. Congratulations to the section of Palliative Medicine!