The Business Cost Premium (BCP) is a payment negotiated in the 2019 Physician Master Agreement (PMA) to help eligible physicians cover the rising rent, lease, or ownership costs of a community-based office.
The BCP is a percentage premium currently paid on MSP fees for Consultation, Visit, Counselling, and Complete Examination services, when provided in-person or by Telehealth in a community-based office in an eligible geographical location.
Physician eligibility criteria:
Physician is responsible for some or all of the rent, lease, or ownership costs of a community-based office, either directly or indirectly.
Physician is compensated by fee-for-service. The BCP does not apply to physicians compensated by Alternative Payment Programs (APP) or the Longitudinal Family Payment (LFP) model.
Physician is entitled to receive and retain payment for the eligible fees directly from MSP (e.g. payments assigned to Health Authorities are not eligible for the premium).
The community-based office is in an eligible geographical location (e.g. Vancouver, Victoria, Metro Vancouver, Greater Victoria and other communities that do not receive rural retention benefits). Physicians receiving Rural Retention Program (RRP) benefits may be eligible for the Rural Business Cost Modifier (RBCM). Information on the RBCM can be found here.
Note: Implementation of the changes outlined below will likely be delayed until late 2023 or early 2024 as Health Insurance BC (HIBC), the administrator of MSP payments, completes its transition to a new service provider. Thus, physicians cannot yet claim the BCP on MSP services provided outside of a community-based office, or on MSP fees beyond Consultation, Visit, Counselling, and Complete Examinations.
The 2022 PMA expands the BCP to apply to fees for all services provided by physicians regardless of the healthcare setting where the services are delivered, subject to the following conditions:
The physician eligibility criteria listed above will remain unchanged.
Although the eligible healthcare settings will be expanded to include locations such as hospitals, physicians are still required to be responsible for some or all of the rent, lease, or ownership costs of a community-based office, where the physician is entitled to receive and retain payment for those services directly from MSP.
The BCP will not apply to radiology, anesthesiology, pathology and nuclear medicine fees for services delivered in or for Agency facilities.
Billing claim requirements:
BCP Facility codes and Service Location Codes (SLCs) are mandatory requirements for payment of the BCP. Both BCP Facility Code and SLC data fields must be populated on each MSP billing claim.
As BCP facility codes are currently limited to community offices, work is underway to expand facility codes to include all locations where physicians are entitled to receive and retain payment for fees directly from MSP.
Full details of the expected changes can be found in APPENDIX F, section 1.7 Business Cost Premium of the 2022 Physician Master Agreement.
Although the changes are not yet effective, physicians are encouraged to prepare for the expansion by completing the following steps:
Register for the BCP. This involves completing two forms: 1) Complete a BCP Facility Number application for your community-based office, and 2) Complete a Physician Attachment form. See “Registering for the BCP” below for application forms and instructions.
Consult with your EMR vendor to ensure that the BCP facility number and applicable Service Location Code (SLC) can be entered on all MSP claims.
If you are currently receiving BCP, confirm with your vendor that the BCP facility number and applicable SLC can be entered on all MSP claims beyond Consultation, Visit, Counselling, and Complete Examinations.
The percentage values and the daily maximum amounts of the BCP are based on the eligible fees and the location of the community-based office in which the services are provided:
City of Vancouver: 5% of eligible fees up to a maximum BCP payment of $60 per day per physician.
Metro Vancouver (excluding the City of Vancouver) and Greater Victoria: 4% of eligible fees up to a maximum BCP payment of $48 per day per physician.
Other communities (outside Greater Vancouver and Greater Victoria) not eligible for the Rural Retention Premiums: 3% of eligible fees up to a maximum BCP payment of $36 per day per physician.
The BCP will be applied to eligible fees submitted on physician’s MSP-billing claims, and will be paid to the physician’s payee number (or assigned payee number, if applicable). The claims system will apply the percentage for the premium and calculate the daily maximum. In order to identify the physical location in which services are provided and for the correct percentage premium to be applied, physicians will need to include their assigned BCP Facility Number on their billing claims.
Health Insurance BC (HIBC) administers the BCP and processes the applications on behalf of MSP. For technical support, including application submission, and registration confirmation, please contact HIBC at the phone numbers listed below:
Registering for the BCP involves two steps: 1) Obtain a BCP Facility Number, and 2) complete a Physician Attachment form.
Register your community-based office for a BCP Facility Number, which will identify the physical location in which services are provided and allow for the correct percentage premium to be applied.
The physician responsible for administration of the office (the “Facility Administrator”) can apply for a BCP Facility Number by submitting the online application linked below. Only one BCP Facility Number is required per office, regardless if it is a solo or group practice.
Obtain BCP Facility Number forms:
Once your location has been assigned a BCP Facility Number you can complete the online Physician Attachment form linked below to attach yourself to your office and its Facility Number.
Practitioner Attachment forms:
If there are any changes to the information after the BCP Facility Number application form has been submitted, the Facility Administrator must submit the “Application to Cancel or Change Details for Facilities with an MSP Facility Number” form linked below.
Are the two new temporary fee codes for COVID-19 eligible for the BCP?
Yes, fee codes T13701 (Office Visit for COVID-19 with test) and T13702 (Office Visit for COVID-19 without test) are both eligible for the BCP, as Visits are considered an eligible service under the BCP criteria.
If I receive Rural Retention Premiums (RRP), do I qualify for the BCP?
No, eligible locations include the city of Vancouver, Metro Vancouver, the greater Victoria area, and other communities not eligible for the RRP. There are other mechanisms in-place for funding in rural locations.
What qualifies as ownership costs?
Examples of ownership costs include mortgage, utilities, property taxes, etc.
Are walk-in clinics eligible?
Yes, if the walk-in clinic is located in an eligible geographical location, and you are an eligible physician paying towards the lease, rent or ownership costs of the clinic.
There are multiple physicians working in a group clinic, with some paying towards business expenses and others who are not. How does that work?
Only the physicians who pay towards the rent, lease, or ownership costs of an eligible office would qualify for the BCP.
I work in a clinic but do not own it, do I qualify?
Yes, if it is an eligible clinic and you pay towards the lease, rent, or ownership costs.
I am working as a locum, do I qualify?
Yes, if you work in a clinic that qualifies and part of your agreement is to cover some of the lease, rent, or ownership costs. The payment will be paid to the Payee number you have assigned on the Assignment of Payment form. The payment should be distributed between the host physician/clinic and locum as per your agreement.
If I provide locum services in two different clinics on the same day, how will the BCP be paid?
The BCP may be paid on multiple facility numbers. The BCP daily maximum though is based on an individual practitioner. The BCP will paid to a practitioner maximum on whichever eligible claims are received first, regardless of facility or payee number. If the maximum is reached on the first clinics claims, then no BCP is paid to the second clinic. However, if the maximum is not reached for the first clinic, the remaining amount will be paid to the second clinic.
Many locums complete an Assignment of Payment (AOP) form with a 1-year time range so that they don’t need to complete a new AOP each time they provide locum services at that clinic. Are precise dates required for the BCP form, or can locums do the same without impact on billings?
No, precise dates are not needed for locums, they can put in the same dates as their AOP. If circumstances change and the physician cancels their AOP, they should update their registration on the APPLICATION TO CANCEL OR CHANGE DETAILS FOR FACILITIES WITH AN MSP FACILITY NUMBER form.
When working as a locum, can I apply online for the BCP and Assignment of Payment at the same time?
Not at this time. These are two separate forms. Practitioner attachment for the BCP can be completed online using a new electronic form, while the existing Assignment of Payment form must be submitted by Canada Post or fax.
Can I still register for the BCP after April 1, 2020?
Yes. If your registration isn’t complete until after April 1, you have two options to claim the BCP:
Hold your billing claims from April 1 onwards. Once your BCP registration has been completed (e.g. you have been assigned a facility number and completed the Practitioner Attachment process), submit your claims and the BCP will be applied to the eligible fees.
Continue submitting your billing claims as you typically would, and once your BCP registration has been completed you can resubmit your claims from April 1 onwards to claim the BCP on eligible fees.
I received an error message saying the information on my application does not match MSP records. What does this mean?
This most likely means you have entered your Payee number in the MSP Practitioner Number field instead of your personal MSP Practitioner number.
The Application For MSP Facility Number asks for the Facility Effective Date. What is this?
This is the date the clinic/office originally opened at its current location. If you don’t know this date, please use April 1, 2020.
Who do I call if I experience technical difficulties with an application form?
You can call the HIBC Practitioner number for technical assistance with a form:
Vancouver: (604) 456-6950
Elsewhere in BC: 1-866-456-6950
What if I practice at more than one office?
If you practice at more than one eligible office (e.g. two offices) and pay towards the lease, rent, or ownership costs at both places, then you would be eligible for the BCP whenever you provide eligible services at either location. You must complete the Practitioner attachment for each unique eligible office.
What if no longer work at an office where I am attached to a BCP Facility Number?
To change physician attachment details, the Facility Administrator must submit the “Application to Cancel or Change Details for Facilities with an MSP Facility Number” form to HIBC: https://my.gov.bc.ca/bcp/update-facility/home
Where will my payment notification show up?
It will show up as a Level 1 adjustment on your remittance statement.
Can facility owners retain all of the BCP?
The BCP is an MSP payment and the sharing between physicians and clinic owners should be based on your current agreement regarding overhead costs, unless you agree to an alternative arrangement. The PMA clearly states that the BCP is for physicians, and therefore clinic owners cannot automatically retain all of the BCP.
Is the daily maximum per physician per location?
No, the daily maximum is per physician per day across all locations or facilities.
How do I claim retroactive BCP payment?
Billing claims should be resubmitted with the exact same details, but this time add the BCP Facility Number that was assigned to your office. The claims system will automatically debit off the original claim and process your resubmitted claim, and apply the BCP to applicable fees. For claims greater than 90 days, submission code A is required. The form can be found here.
Doctors who register by July 31, 2022 are eligible to resubmit billing claims to receive retroactive BCP payment back to April 1, 2021.
Doctors who register on August 1, 2022 or after are eligible to resubmit billing claims to receive retroactive BCP payment back to April 1, 2022.
How do I know if my EMR has the capability or functionality to process the BCP?
The Doctors Technology Office is consulting with the EMR vendor-community to gauge readiness for implementation. However, as there are 100+ Teleplan certified billing vendors, it is recommended that physicians follow up with their billing software company/EMR vendor for information regarding their specific software as soon as possible.
Can an existing Teleplan field (e.g. data centre, service location code, MSP billing #) be used for BCP identification purposes, rather than having to register for a Facility Number?
No. Existing fields do not identify the physical location of the community-based office. After registration an office will be assigned a unique Facility Number. The new Facility Number is the best field for administering the BCP given the technical parameters of the Teleplan system. It is a “mandatory field” which means that every software provider is already required to have that field built into their product, although you may not see it right now.
What information is required on my billing claim to receive the BCP?
BCP Facility Number
Service Location Code – please note: these have changed effective April 1, 2021
Any of the following Service Location Codes are acceptable:
(B) Community Health Centre
(D) Diagnostic Facility
(F) Private Medical/Surgical Facility
(K) Hybrid Primary Care Practice
(J) First Nations Primary Health Care Clinic
(L) Longitudinal Primary Care Practice
(M) Mental Health Centre
(Q) Specialist Physician Office
(T) Practitioner's Office - In Publicly Administered Facility
(U) Urgent and Primary Care Centre
(V) Virtual Care Clinic
(W) Walk-In Clinic
What if I submit a procedure fee with the BCP facility number on my billing claim in error? Or, what if I submit all my claims that are a mix of eligible and non-eligible fees with a BCP facility number?
The claims system will be programmed to only apply the BCP to the eligible fee items submitted by eligible physicians. If you submit a non-BCP fee item, the system will process your claims in the usual manner and will not apply the premium.
What happens if I submit a claim with a facility number and I have not registered my practitioner attachment to the facility?
The claim will be refused with an explanation that the practitioner has not been attached to the facility number.
Details covered in the session included eligibility criteria, how to register for a facility number, and EMR requirements for submitting BCP claims.
Health Insurance BC (HIBC) administers the BCP and processes the applications on behalf of MSP. For technical support, including application submission, and registration confirmation, please contact HIBC at the phone numbers listed below. HIBC has dedicated support for the BCP, so please follow the prompts for the “Business Cost Premium” when phoning.
Vancouver: 604 456 6950
Elsewhere in BC: 1 866 456 6950
If your question isn’t covered in the FAQ’s, the Doctors of BC Economics team can be reached at