Physician Agreement programs and funding (2023)

Physician Agreement programs and funding (2023)

The Physician Agreement provides funding for several programs that are paid out either through fees or as lump-sum payments.

These funding programs are generally available to fee-for-service physicians, but some apply to physicians on alternative payment plans (APPs), which are soon to be replaced by the longitudinal family medicine payment model (LFM). There is more information about Physician Agreement funding programs applicable to APP physicians.

Payment eligibility for most funding programs depends on your MSI billings, and is identified through fee codes, specific fee modifiers or the attainment of billing thresholds. Accurate and comprehensive MSI billing is essential, regardless of your payment model. New and/or updated incentives as:

Longitudinal Family Medicine Payment Model
This new payment model aims to provide stable, equitable funding for physicians who provide longitudinal family medicine, with a particular focus on access and attachment. 

Overhead/attachment support
Family physicians who run longitudinal practices and rural specialists who bear the costs of overhead (rent) for their offices will receive overhead support.

New fee codes for invisible unpaid work
This contract includes new fee codes that will mean family physicians will be paid for some of their “invisible work” – important work they do that takes time but hasn’t always been recognized by the system. 

Travel/redeployment expenses: When a physician is asked by a health authority to travel to another hospital in the province more than one hour away, the physician will have their expenses reimbursed.

Income stabilization: In the event of another pandemic or in situations when fee for service or hourly-paid specialists experience income loss due to factors beyond their control.

Funding for allied health-care professionals
The contract includes funding for a new pilot project available to LFM and fee-for-service family physicians who hire an allied health-care provider (ACHP). Learn more

For other specialists requests for additional resources – including both new physician FTE needs and requests for allied health-care providers (AHCPs) or other resources – should be advanced by the Department Head through the annual NSH and IWK Health business case process.

Succession planning
New investments in succession planning will help physicians who are transitioning out of practice work with physicians who are transitioning into practice (TIP-TOP). 

Rural Specialist Practice Support Program
This incentive program encourages specialist physicians to work and stay in rural Nova Scotia communities. See also the rural specialist retention incentive program.

Asynchronous virtual care
Fee codes that remunerate physicians for physician-to-physician consults will be expanded to cover both synchronous and asynchronous discussions, whether those are done by telephone, face-to-face or secure messaging. 

Community Hospital Inpatient Program
A funding model that is available to compensate community family physicians who provide care to their patients while in hospital.

**Electronic medical record grants
Funding is available for any EMR that fits Canada Health Infoway's definition, which has been adopted by Doctors Nova Scotia.

General Practice Chronic Disease Management Incentive Program
This funding recognizes additional work done by family physicians, beyond office visits, to ensure an annual cycle of guidelines-based care is provided to patients with diabetes and/or ischaemic heart disease and/or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 

**General Practice Collaborative Practice Incentive Program
Encourages family physicians to participate in collaborative care models. 

General Practice Complex Care Visit
Recognizes the extra work and time required of family physicians to provide ongoing comprehensive care in the office for “complex” patients with three or more eligible chronic diseases. 

General Practice Surgical Assist Incentive Program
Provides an annual incentive payment to family physicians who carry out surgical assists. 

Nova Scotia Facility On-Call Program
This program funds approved GP and specialty on-call rotas. 

CPD Stipends
Family physicians, rural specialists and urban fee for service specialists are eligible for funding to cover part of their expenses for continuing medical education.

Primary Maternity Care
A new funding model that will stabilize and support primary maternity care services across the province.

Provincial Locum Program
This provincial locum program provides coverage for physicians who require covered for leave for vacation, CME, maternity and medical leave, or illness. 

**Some programs are still slated to convert to fees. The programs remain unchanged until the Fee Committee establishes the new fees.


Jessica Moore
Compensation manager, Physician Agreement and Fee Schedule

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