Milestone reached after launch of new payment model

March 3, 2023

Vancouver, BC – One month after its launch, 2,024 family doctors have enrolled in the new Longitudinal Family Practice (LFP) payment model designed to retain and attract physicians to family medicine. This represents about 45% of currently practicing longitudinal family doctors in BC. 149 are new doctors or those returning to family practice after working in other areas.

“We are pleased with the response to the new model which represents a significant shift in in the way we practice,” said Dr Josh Greggain, president of Doctors of BC. “We are hearing that many family doctors who had been planning to leave or retire are reconsidering that decision, which means that thousands of patients who would then be without a family doctor will continue to have one. We are also starting to recruit new and returning physicians, which creates new openings for patients who want a family doctor. Patients will benefit as the positive response continues to build momentum.” 

The Longitudinal Family Physician Payment Model was developed by Doctors of BC, BC Family Doctors, and the BC government to address the stability and sustainability of family medicine, providing BC patients with improved access to primary care. This new payment model keeps existing family doctors in practice, is encouraging family doctors to come back to community-based care, and is recruiting more doctors into family medicine. 

“This new payment model is improving the healthcare system for British Columbians,” says Dr Danette Dawkin, president of BC Family Doctors. “While there isn’t a single solution, I am confident that this payment model is enabling family doctors to spend more time with patients when needed and accept more patients when capacity allows.”  

The payment model includes three elements that address:

  • the time a physician spends providing patient care of all types, 
  • the number of patients a physician sees,
  • the size and complexity of a physician’s patient panel. 

This means family physicians who enrol are compensated for all the time needed for patient care, including time spent with patients, care coordination, and required paperwork, especially important for patients with complex needs, mental health concerns, and seniors. 

“The new model ensures patients have access to the care they need, meets the needs of doctors, and supports the province’s primary care strategy,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Soon, we will introduce our provincial rostering system which will work to attach patients to longitudinal care providers in their communities. As more doctors sign on to the payment model, they will be able to take on more patients, and I look forward to seeing our health-care system grow stronger as a result.”

In the next stage of our work, the partners are working to improve and expand the new model for hospital care, long term care, and maternity care, as well as considering adaptations for the unique needs of rural and remote communities.

The new payment model is one of many initiatives underway to support family doctors and specialist physicians to provide timely and quality care for patients. The association is implementing the new Physician Master Agreement and is working with government to reduce physician burdens and increase patient access to timely and quality care. 

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For more information:
Sharon Shore
Doctors of BC