The proposed physicians’ payment changes coming into effect on March 31 have been cancelled.
“During these unprecedented times, we want to ensure physicians on the front lines can focus solely on providing patient care,” said Minister of Health Tyler Shandro.
“We’ve heard concerns that this change would result in what has been called ‘10-minute medicine. While we respectfully disagree with that characterization, we are nevertheless halting this change so that doctors can concentrate on the critical tasks at hand,” he said.
Complex modifiers provide incentives to doctors to spend more time with patients who have complex medical needs.
General practitioners will remain at the 15-minute mark at the current rate of $18.48, and other complex modifiers will remain available at current rates and current time requirements.
Alternatives to the fee of service and complex modifiers will be developed with the assistance of the physician compensation advisory committee.
The physician compensation advisory committee will be made up of the public, physicians, and Alberta Health.
The physician compensation advisory committee will examine all aspects of the physician services funding model and make recommendations that support high-quality patient-focused health services to Albertans.
“We appreciate the removal of the complex modifier from Alberta Health’s physician funding framework,” said the Alberta Medical Association President Dr. Christine Molnar.
Adding, “This is a significant step in supporting patients and physicians. There is still work to be done. We will work in any venue to advance patient care and to reach a formal agreement between physicians and Alberta Health.”