Fall/winter 2020 physician payment: Pandemic planning work for health authorities, Medical Staff Associations and divisions

The following Ministry of Health memo was shared with  health authorities, divisions and MSAS on November 18, 2020.

In recognition of additional planning work required to action the Ministry of Health’s Management of COVID-19 Health Sector Plan for Fall/Winter 2020/21 (http://news.gov.bc.ca/files/COVID-19_fall-winter_preparation.pdf), released in September 2020, the Ministry of Health is providing funding for physician time spent on associated planning activities.

Planning may be initiated by the Health Authorities, Medical Staff Associations (MSAs) or Divisions of Family Practice (DOFP).

Physicians will be compensated to a maximum of 20 hours in total for active planning performed between October 19, 2020 to March 31, 2021 at the Physician Master Agreement 2020/21 sessional hourly rates (FPs - $145.65/hour; specialists - $171.80/hour), provided the following criteria are met:

  • Meetings and planning work must be directly related to supporting the Management of COVID-19 Health Sector Plan for Fall/Winter 2020/21;
  • Meetings must be about service delivery planning, re-design and implementation related to provision of patient care at a community, facility, regional and/or provincial level in response to COVID-19;
  • The planning work is extraordinary, and goes beyond usual department, division or MSA meeting – planning for patient care in the outpatient physician office settings is not eligible; and,
  • Physicians are active in the planning - payment will not be provided for passive attendance at meetings. 

The administrative process will be similar to the Spring 2020 physician pandemic planning payment process. Invoices should be sent to the agency (Health Authorities, MSAs or DOFP) that requested physician involvement. Ministry reimbursement for MSAs and DOFP planning will be coordinated through the Doctors of BC. 

All invoices must be confirmed with a signature by a Health Authority designated representative or MSA / DOFP executive and state the date and the number of hours engaged in planning activities. Physician invoices must be submitted to the relevant agency by April 30, 2021. However, physicians are encouraged to submit an invoice as soon as the maximum 20 hours of planning is reached. 

The Doctors of BC and Health Authorities must submit to the Ministry of Health by May 28, 2021. The Ministry may request that the Doctors of BC and Health Authorities provide a rough estimate of the invoices received to date on April 5, 2021, for year end purposes.  

Health Authority and Doctors of BC reimbursement submissions should be directed to the Ministry of Health, Finance and Corporate Services Division (contact:  Nat.Johnstone@gov.bc.ca; (778) 974-4395).

For questions by Health Authorities related to submissions, please contact Marie Ty (Marie.Ty@gov.bc.ca; 250 952-1587).

For questions related to submissions by divisions of family practice and MSAs to Doctors of BC, please contact engagement@doctorsofbc.ca.