Billing changes – COVID-19

June 5, 2020

What's on this page:

COVID-19 immunization advice fee (From the Minute of the Commission 21-054)

A new temporary fee code is available to all physicians in BC who provide COVID-19 immunization advice to patients.  This fee can be billed when a physician sees a patient for an unrelated visit (e.g. prenatal visit) and in addition provides advice regarding COVID-19 vaccines, whether that visit is in person or by Telehealth.  

A minimum of ten additional minutes for the advice must be provided in addition to the unrelated base visit. The physician would not administer COVID-19 immunization during that visit, as temporary fees have already been established for when a physician provides the COVID-19 immunization and has an accompanying discussion (T10042, TB10043, TB10044).  

The new fee is effective for dates of service on or after April 15, 2021. 

T10045  COVID-19 immunization advice fee (extra) ..................................... $17.62 
i) Payable for COVID-19 immunization advice (ICD-9 code C19 must be entered on claim). 
ii) Paid only in addition to a visit for an unrelated condition and is paid in full. 
iii) Physician time with the patient for the advice must exceed 10 minutes exclusive of time spent on the base unrelated visit. 
iv) Start and end times must be entered in both the billing claim and the patient’s chart. 
v) Not payable with a COVID-19 immunization by the same practitioner, same day. 
vi) If COVID-19 immunization advice fee is provided with a visit for an unrelated condition and with a procedure, bill the procedure and 50% of a visit with ICD-9 code C19. 
vii) If COVID-19 immunization advice fee is provided as a stand-alone service, bill the appropriate visit code with ICD-9 code C19. 
viii) Cannot be delegated to a nurse or other employee of the physician's practice.

New temporary fee codes for COVID-19 immunizations

To support the new fridge-stable COVID-19 vaccines that can be administered in a range of different locations, three temporary COVID-19 immunization fees have been approved. Click for more info.

Payment for Video and Telephone Visits

Billing changes will allow:
  • Telehealth fees to be used when the service is rendered over the telephone. This includes services for all patients including COVID-19 patients.
  • Telehealth fees to be claimed for consultations, office visits, and non-procedural interventions where there is currently no telehealth fee. These may be claimed under the “face to face” fee with a claim note record that the service was provided via video technology or telephone and is payable by MSP.
The full list of telehealth fees by section can be found here
WorkSafeBC and ICBC permits Telehealth (video and telephone) for anything that does not require a physical exam/assessment. 

If physicians encounter problems, they should contact the regular ICBC/WorkSafeBC contact (ICBC Health Care Inquiry Unit at 1-888-717-7150 and WorkSafe BC Health Care Services at ). These changes are in effect until an end date can safely be determined.

Guides and supports offered through the Doctors Technology Office to help physicians utilize virtual care technology can be found here

New COVID-19 Office Visit Codes

  • Two new, temporary office visit fees (T13701 and T13702) have been introduced for physicians treating patients with suspected or active COVID-19 symptoms, one with test and one without test. The fees are payable only for in-office visits with patients displaying suspected or active COVID-19 symptoms.  
  • They are not payable in addition to another face-to-face visit for the same patient on the same day. However, they can be billed in addition to a telephone or video visit on the same day.
Details on new fees can be found here

Updates for Family Physicians

  • Two new temporary Respiratory Immunization fees codes for patients 19 years of age or older
  • The Daily volume limit for in-office care for office visits, counselling, and complete examinations will be reinstated effective October 1, 2020, as per the Provincial Health Officer.
  • Services directly related to COVID-19 should include diagnostic code C19.
  • New temporary fee code T10050 COVID-19 Perioperative Complexity surcharge has been added to the General Surgery fee guide, implemented on October 1, 2020. See details here.

Temporary COVID-19 Fee Codes for family physicians include:

  • T13706 -- New Family Practice Delegated Patient Telehealth Management Fee
  • T13707 -- New Family Practice Email/Text/Telephone Medical Advice Relay or ReRX Fee
  • T13708 -- New Family Practice COVID-19 communication with specialist and/or allied care provider
  • Temporary age-adjusted telehealth fee codes for family doctor visits (0100 series equivalents), counselling ​(0120 series equivalents), and consultations(0110 series equivalents) done by phone or video came into effect June 1, 2020 and have the same value as the in-person fee codes for similar patient encounters. These fee codes are to be used regardless of the physician’s location (home,  office, or Health Authority approved facility). Business Cost Premium (BCP) will apply to the temporary telehealth fee codes.

The GPSC and BC Family Doctors co-hosted a webinar explaining these changes on May 28. For more information or to view a recording, visit the GPSC website.

Additional billing changes for Family Physicians include the allowance of Telehealth for:

  • 00114 Long Term Care Facility Visit
  • 00127 Palliative Care Patient Facility Visit Fee
  • (14050-53, 14250-53) Chronic Disease Management fees allow the minimum two visits to be delivered via telehealth, with the agreement to revisit the change in December 2020.
  • 14066 Personal Health Risk Assessment 14066 can now be billed when the visit is provided via telehealth.

For helpful Q&A, please visit the BC Family Doctors website.

More information and a downloadable billing cheat sheet can be found on the BC Family Doctors website.​

Updates for Specialist Physicians

New temporary fee code T10050 COVID-19 Perioperative Complexity surcharge has been added to the General Surgery fee guide, implemented on October 1, 2020. See details here.

See “Payment for Video and Telephone Visits” (above) for information on billing with existing telehealth codes or for billing face-to-face codes via telehealth​

See “COVID-19 Office Visit Codes” (above) which can be billed by any physician

Four temporary fee codes were added to the Specialist Services Committee (SSC) fee guide:

  • T10000 Urgent Specialist Advice on patient with previous visit/service
  • T10007 Specialist Email/Text/Telephone Medical Advice Relay or ReRX Fee
  • T10008 Urgent Specialist COVID-19 Advice
  • T10009 Non-Urgent Specialist Advice on patient with previous visit/service

Details on these fees can be found here.

FAQ available here (updated May 11, 2020).

Billing Changes FAQs

  • Frequently asked questions and further information available here.