General guidelines

General guidelines for receiving funding related to VCUR 2008 EMR solutions:

  1. The physician must meet the following threshold eligibility requirements:
    • The physician must have achieved Milestone 3 (Go-Live) and been using a VCUR 2008 EMR solution by January 31, 2014.
    • The physician must have signed an offer to participate.
    • The physician must be still using a VCUR 2008 EMR solution.
    • The physician must be in good standing with the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta.
    • The physician must be providing insured services within the province of Alberta.
  2. Physicians receiving funding who move to another clinic must notify the AMA and complete a Change Request Form. Physicians or clinics who require a change to their banking information may complete a Change Request Form or a Direct Deposit Form.
  3. Funding is provided on a per physician basis. The eligible funding/reimbursement amounts are outlined below. All funds are directed to a single bank account as identified by the physician.
  4. A physician is only eligible for reimbursement for an EMR solution at one clinic at any given time. A physician involved in more than one clinic at the same time must declare which clinic's EMR solution will be used for determining reimbursement.
  5. Reimbursement will be based on invoices submitted by the physician’s designated clinic. The clinic representative will identify the portion of costs associated with each physician on the reimbursement request. If more room is required, attach the “Additional Physician Information” sheet. Individual expenditures greater than $1,500 will require physician authorization prior to reimbursement.
  6. Funding does not cover any indirect physician office costs, such as lost productivity resulting from information technology installation and/or training time for staff.
  7. Physicians will not be reimbursed for the time they spend maintaining their EMR solution, either through direct billing or through a company owned by the physician.
  8. The AMA, at its discretion, may examine transactions submitted for reimbursement for potential conflict of interest as it relates to the physician and/or related parties profiting from the provision of services. Two or more parties are related when they are subject to common control, joint control or common significant influence. Related parties also include management and immediate family members. If transactions from a related party are found, reimbursement may be denied.
  9. The total amount of public funding physicians receive for their EMR, including funding from the VCUR 2008 EMR Funding Extension Program, may not exceed 100% of the total costs for the EMR solution.
  10. Funding will not be provided to a physician if the physician does not use the EMR solution as the primary method for entering and maintaining patient information as defined in the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta’s Patient Record Retention Standard and Patient Record Content Standard.
  11. Each physician is responsible for any tax consequences that may arise from this financial assistance. Each physician is encouraged to seek advice from his/her tax advisor on the treatment of payments.
  12. All physicians must have a valid privacy impact assessment (PIA) and corresponding Health Information Act file number to be eligible for funding.
  13. The AMA, at its discretion, may perform periodic audits as it relates to the program in conformance with the Offer to Participating Physician or Offer to Participating Clinic Organization.
  14. The AMA Executive Director is authorized to use and share the information (other than confidential patient information) that physicians provide with Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services to ensure coordination of activities among Alberta Health, Alberta Health Services and the AMA.
  15. Contractual obligations between the clinic/physician/qualified service provider are not the responsibility of the AMA.
  16. Funded leaves are available under the circumstances outlined below and in accordance with the timelines. In all leave of absence cases, a physician must notify the AMA when he/she starts and ends a leave of absence by submitting a Parental, Disability or Sabbatical Leave Form.
    • Parental leave: Payments can continue to the participating physician for up to one year provided the clinic continues to operate through the use of locum or other physician support. If the physician does not return to practice after one year, funding will be terminated.
    • Disability leave: Where a physician is disabled and unable to practice, funding can continue for up to one year provided the clinic continues to operate through the use of locum or other physician support. For the funding to continue beyond one year, proof of disability is required. If it is unlikely that the physician will return to work, funding will be terminated.
    • Sabbatical leave: Payments can continue to the participating physician for up to one year provided the clinic continues to operate through the use of locum or other physician support. If the physician does not return to the practice after one year, funding will be terminated.
  17. A physician who is unable to meet these general responsibilities as defined in these program guidelines will have their funding suspended until they are in compliance.
  18. Any changes or modifications to these program guidelines will take effect upon notice to the physician through electronic mail at the address provided in the Direct Deposit Form or addresses subsequently modified by the physician through a change of address notification. The physician’s continued acceptance of funding following receipt of changes or modifications to these program guidelines will constitute the physician’s acceptance of such changes or modifications.

The Alberta Medical Association stands as an advocate for its physician members, providing leadership & support for their role in the provision of quality health care.