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April 7, 2020
This webinar will cover changes to GPSC fees made effective April 1st, COVID-19 related fee changes that affect family physicians, and Pathways tools...

Business Cost Premium: Registration now open

February 6, 2020
As agreed to in the 2019 Physician Master Agreement, effective April 1, 2020 eligible physicians will be able to claim a new Business Cost Premium (BCP) on fees for Consultation, Visit, Counselling and Complete Examination services to help cover the rising rent, lease, or ownership costs of a community-based office.

Who is eligible for the BCP? 

Physicians who provide eligible services in an eligible community-based office and who are responsible for some or all of the lease, rental, or ownership costs of that office, either directly or indirectly. Physicians must also be entitled to receive and retain payment for the eligible fees directly from MSP (i.e. payments assigned to Health Authorities are not eligible for the premium).

How is the BCP calculated? 

The percentage values and the daily maximum amounts of the BCP are based on the eligible fees and the location of the eligible community-based office in which the services are provided. As there is a fixed budget to implement the BCP, the following percentage values and daily maximum amounts may change as a result of uptake:
  • 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.

What fees are eligible?

The BCP will be applied to eligible fees for Consultation, Visit, Counselling and Complete Examination services. You can find the full list of eligible fees here

How will the BCP be paid?

The BCP will be applied to eligible fees submitted on physician’s billing claims, and will be paid to the physician’s (or assigned) payee number. 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 register their community-based office for a Facility Number, which is a unique physician/office location-identifier. 
 
If an eligible physician is responsible for some or all of the lease, rental, or ownership costs at more than one community-based location, the physician will need to register each location where eligible services are provided.

How do I register for the BCP?

The BCP facility registration and attachment of a practitioner to the facility forms are now available on the BC Government website as an online application or a fill-and-print form. It is recommended that physicians complete and submit both forms in advance of the April 1, 2020 effective date. 

Community-based offices with multiple eligible physicians should assign one physician to act as the Administrator and register the office for a Facility Number. It is not required that all physicians in the same clinic apply for a Facility Number. However, each eligible physician is required to complete an Attach Practitioner to MSP Facility Number application form using the Facility Number obtained by your Administrator. Confirmation of registration will be mailed to physicians via Canada Post. 

Online application:
Apply for Facility Number: https://my.gov.bc.ca/bcp/register-facility
Attach Practitioner to MSP Facility Number: https://my.gov.bc.ca/bcp/practitioner-registration

Fill and print form:
Apply for Facility Number: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/forms/2948fil.pdf
Attach Practitioner: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/forms/2950fil.pdf

The cancel or change details to a Facility Number form is currently only available as a fill and print form: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/forms/2949fil.pdf

Online BCP webinar: Recording from March 12 now available!

Click here: Recording Business Cost Premium Education Webinar March 12, 2020

Details covered in the session included eligibility criteria, how to register for a facility number, and EMR requirements for submitting BCP claims. 

FAQ's

ELIGIBILITY: WHO OR WHAT IS ELIGIBLE FOR BCP?

What qualifies as ownership costs?

Examples of ownership costs include mortgage, utilities, property taxes, etc. 

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

What fees are eligible?

Consultation, Visit, Counselling, and Complete Examination fees are eligible, all of which require face-to-face time with the patient. Procedural fees are currently not eligible for the BCP.

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.

 

Are Telehealth fees eligibile?

No, Telehealth fees are not eligible for the BCP. Only fees for in-person, face-to-face Consultation, Visit, Counselling and Complete Examination services will qualify. The BCP is to compensate eligible physicians for the work they do with their patients in their community-based office.

FACILITY NUMBER: OBTAINING A FACILITY NUMBER AND ATTACHING A PHYSICIAN

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.

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.

REGISTRATION: APPLICATION QUESTIONS

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:

1. 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.

2. 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 B.C.: 1-866-456-6950

PREMIUM: HOW WILL THE BCP BE PAID?

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. 

OTHER QUESTIONS: EMR? CLAIMS SUBMISSION?

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 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.

For any questions regarding the BCP, please contact economics@doctorsofbc.ca.​​