Membership renewal season has started. If you are currently an SGP member, don’t forget to include SGP when you renew your Doctors of BC membership.
If you are not currently a member, we invite you to read more about us, and to consider joining SGP when you renew your Doctors of BC membership.
Thanks for your support!
Many of you may have had patients asking you to sign the Disability Tax Credit form after being told by a private company that they qualify. These companies charge a significant commission to the patient for assisting them through the process, and after a number of complaints, CRA has proposed the Disability Tax Credit Promoter’s Restriction Act.
This will affect physicians, and the CMA has prepared a Disability Tax Credit briefing note and is asking for comment. SGP will forward any feedback we receive to the CMA.
In the 2013 federal budget, amendments to the Excise Tax Act were made that affect GST/HST. After considerable delay, Canada Revenue Agency has issued a GST_HST_DraftPolicy outlining how CRA plans to apply GST/HST to uninsured physician services. The Canadian Medical Association briefing note Changes to GST-HST Application summarises this well. You may want to review with your accountant how these changes affect you.
Beginning Oct 1, 2014 pharmacists will be following a new protocol when sending you prescription renewals for patients in LTC. You can read about it here.
The GP Expert Panel has been meeting to work on the Provincial Privileging Dictionary which will outline the credentials required to be granted privileges in hospital and residential care facilities in BC. Members were chosen to ensure representation of the diversity of care provided in facilities by GPs as well as to reflect the differing needs of rural, suburban and urban practitioners. Stay up to date and offer your comments on the work so far by following the Provincial Privileging Blog.
Health minister Terry Lake has ordered a sweeping review of telemedicine care in B.C., saying in an interview he’s concerned videoconference visits between patients in one location and doctors in another could become “virtual walk-in clinics” with unsustainable costs on the health care system. Read the Vancouver Sun story.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons notes that:
“Physicians are accountable every time they decide that a physical examination is not required.
Telemedicine has the potential to reduce the risk of error by providing physicians with considerably more information. However, a decision to rely on a virtual visit to conclude a medical assessment for an acute concern will always be a high stakes one, which requires thoughtful consideration and superior clinical judgment.
The College’s depth and breadth of experience reviewing physician practices and investigating complaints indicates that telemedicine will add value for patients and providers if it forms part of an integrated whole, such as a full-service primary care clinic, a provincial or regional specialty service, or a robust outreach program for people living in remote locations. Significant risk is anticipated if physicians attempt to use telemedicine to provide episodic services in isolation to patients they are not familiar with. Telemedicine holds great promise as an adjunct to well-organized systems of care. Without the support of such systems, it is expected that telemedicine will be neither efficient nor safe.”
– (The College Connector Volume 2 | No. 3 | May / June 2014)
For more information see:
May/June 2014 College of Physicians and Surgeons article on Telemedicine
The College’s professional standard Telemedicine
An editorial in the BCMJ by Deputy Registrar Dr. W.R. Vroom, titled:
Does telemedicine need stricter rules for engagement?
Thanks to all our members who attended the SGP AGM May 31 and provided support and feedback to the organisation. It’s always a surprise how many of you are willing to be up for a 7:30 am Saturday morning! Our officers for 2014 were introduced and their names may seem familiar: Lawrence Welsh, President; Ken Burns, President elect; Ernie Chang, Treasurer; and Elizabeth Rhoades, Secretary. They all wanted to commit to another year in their positions, and were acclaimed after the call to the membership for nominations. Let us know what you’d like to see the SGP do for you in the coming year: email@example.com
With the expiration of the Physician Master Agreement, PITO funding ended March 31. However, the GPSC has provided one year’s funding for the PSP Technology Group to assist full-service family physicians using any EMR to achieve Level 3 “meaningful use” (MU3). Click to read more about this program: PSP-Post-Implementation-Support
Read SGP President’s letter for more details on EMRs.
Canada Post Occupational Fitness Assessment Fees (A00032 and A00033) have been deleted as of May 1, 2014 . For ALL Occupational Fitness Assessments (OFAs), fee code A94529 should now be used, regardless of employer.
Now you can create an account for your MOA to use the billing information on the SGP website.
You must be logged in as a member to create the account
Each member can set up one MOA account.
Log in and then click here to set up an MOA account
Dr. Vroom of the College of Physicians and Surgeons notes in this month’s BCMJ: “In some circumstances telemedicine can provide a valuable medical service to communities with scarce physician resources, despite its diagnostic and treatment limitations. However, the question remains: How should telemedicine evolve in urban settings and how should it be funded? In my opinion, it is up to the primary care physician to determine how best to provide care in specific circumstances, be it face-to-face, by telephone, by telemedicine, or by e-mail. Telemedicine has tremendous potential value in enhancing comprehensive longitudinal care and should not result in more fragmented care. The implementation of this technology deserves a sophisticated utilization strategy. As for public funding, would it not be best for physician remuneration to be based on comprehensive patient care rather than on the modality used to service patients?”
Read the full article
This recent study published in JAMA showed that elderly patients who are treated by a smaller set of providers or by a single provider (ie, have greater continuity of care) may be less likely to have preventable hospitalizations. Read the study: Continuity of care and the risk of preventable hospitalization in older adults.
Health Canada considers a unique electronic signature to be equivalent to a paper and pen signature. This is also the position of the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons and the BC College of Pharmacists.
The BC College of Pharmacists notes that:
“Electronic prescriptions are only permitted if the electronic prescriber’s signature is unique. Health Canada considers a unique electronic signature to be equivalent to a paper and pen signature. Therefore the signature must be a fresh new signature written on the prescription with an electronic pen pad, similar to signing a pen and paper prescription. Cutting and pasting a signature into an electronic prescription is not permitted.”
“To ensure that that the signature is unique, the pharmacist should compare the signature each time with an old prescription. Pharmacists should note that the prescriber’s signature should be slightly different on each prescription if it is unique. If you do not have an old prescription to compare or have any doubts as to whether the signature on the prescription is unique, please call the prescriber to verify whether they sign a new original electronic signature for each new prescription. A computer-generated prescription, given to the patient or faxed to the pharmacy, must have an original prescriber’s signature.”
14076 Telephone calls to patients now increased from 500 to 1500 per year
See Details in our easy to use simplified guide to fees