Physician's Manual Modernization Project

Team of doctors

Physician's Manual Modernization Project

The Physician Clinical Activity Reporting System (PCARS), formerly known as the Physician's Manual Modernization Project (PMMP), is a five-year project aimed at improving and modernizing the Nova Scotia Medical Services Insurance (MSI) Physician’s Manual and processes associated with it.

The goal is for the manual to more accurately reflect the services physicians provide to patients. This project is a joint initiative of Doctors Nova Scotia and the Department of Health and Wellness.

Latest news

Doctors Nova Scotia (DNS) and the Department of Health and Wellness (DHW) have achieved a significant milestone with the PCARS.

The purpose of the project was to develop a new clinical activity reporting system and fee schedule. The team has completed the clinical activity reporting subsets and is ready for the next phase; planning for implementation and change management.

More than 200 physicians over the past four years have worked with the project team to develop clinical reporting subsets for each specialty. There are two subsets for each specialty – one includes the diagnoses and health conditions used by physicians within the specialty and the second includes the health services provided to patients by physicians in the specialty.

The project will now move into a review stage where the team will consider the impacts of implementing the resource-based relative value scale which is linked with the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and develop an implementation plan.  

This is the first time such work has been done in Canada. It has been recognized internationally.

Merged 2014 MSI Physician's Manual

The project team’s first milestone was the merger of the MSI Physician’s Manual and the Billing Instructions Manual.

Content is grouped by topic in one searchable and cross-referenced document for improved navigation. The rules and content meaning haven’t changed, except for 2013 policies previously announced in the MSI Bulletin.

New terminologies chosen

Two terminologies were chosen as the foundation of the new manual.

SNOMED CT will replace the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9) for reporting diagnoses while Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) will replace the Canadian Classification Procedures (CCP) for reporting health service descriptions. Learn more about the new terminologies.

Benefits of the project

Modern services

A modernized manual will accurately reflect the services physicians provide to patients. Many physicians maintain the current manual doesn’t support modern service delivery.
The project is one of the most significant undertaken by DNS, both in scope and potential impact to support physicians in the work they do.

Billing and reporting services

Billing and reporting services will be easier and more accurate, allowing physicians to bill with confidence. The new documentation will be easy to maintain and will result in better information for planning.

Practice efficiencies

At the conclusion of the project physicians will have ongoing access to the information they report to help them practice more efficiently and effectively. Better information means better care for patients as well as practice efficiencies.

Current processes

During the course of the project applications for new fee codes and adjustments to fee codes will continue through the Fee Schedule as mandated.

Physician involvement

Physician input has been critical to the project, especially to review the diagnoses and service descriptions used now and to identify the additional descriptions required to reflect the work they do.