One million people in British Columbia do not have a family doctor. In response to this crisis, Doctors of BC, BC Family Doctors, and the provincial government have been in discussions since May to develop a new payment model that will help to address the challenges in primary care.
The new payment model, which will launch February 1, 2023, is based on what physicians told us they need to stabilize and strengthen longitudinal family practice. The hope is this new model will not only stabilize longitudinal family practice, but begin to make it both sustainable and rewarding. Everyone deserves a family doctor, and Doctors of BC believes the new model is a significant step forward to achieving that goal. There is still much more work to be done, please watch for updates in the coming weeks and months.
How does the payment model work?
The Longitudinal Family Physician Payment Model will be simple to use and easy to access for all doctors who are interested. It compensates family doctors for time spent with patients and patient visits as well as the number and complexity of patients in their practice.
- Physicians will be paid for the time they spend providing clinic-based care, including time reviewing test results, writing referrals, and making plans for care.
- It means physicians can spend additional time with patients.
- In addition, they will be paid for each patient that they see.
- The billing system will be simplified, allowing physicians to spend less time on paperwork.
- Physicians will also receive a payment based on the number and complexity of patients in their practice.
- Over time, this will encourage physicians to accept patients into their practice if they have capacity.
What the model means for patients
- Many British Columbians who have a family doctor can breathe a sigh of relief. A significant number of doctors were considering closing their offices before this announcement. We are now hearing from many who are telling us that, as a result of the new payment model, they will stay in practice and continue to see patients. It may prompt some doctors who had planned to retire to stay longer. We believe it will encourage doctors already working to stay on and continue to care for patients.
- The new model will help us to recruit doctors into longitudinal practice. Over time, this means more patients will be able to have their own family doctor. The provincial government is setting up a system whereby patients who register who will connected with a doctor, as more practices are opened.
- Patients will get more time with their doctors. Physicians will not be as rushed in practice and better able to respond to patients concerns- both in-person and virtually- as the new model provides them with more flexibility in how they practice.
Detailed information can be found on our dedicated webpage (login required). Members can also find registration information for upcoming town hall discussions to address questions you may have.
Doctors of BC – members-only Qs and As
BC Family Doctors – Public FAQs
President’s Letter to members
BC government news release