February 26, 2014, PCC Update

PCC Update

 This publication from the Physician Compensation Committee is designed to provide regular updates on the approvals, decisions and accomplishments that take place at that table.

What is the Physician Compensation Committee?

The Physician Compensation Committee (PCC) is a joint committee comprised of representatives from the Ministry of Alberta Health (AH) and the Alberta Medical Association (AMA).

The committee was established under the AMA Agreement to provide a specific and focused “authority and responsibility over all elements of physician compensation, plans and programs subject to the provisions of the AMA Agreement.” The PCC held its first meeting on December 16, 2013.

The committee is comprised of the appointed Chair and three representatives from each of AH and the AMA. The PCC-appointed Chair operates independently and is not affiliated with either organization.

Membership

PCC members include the following individuals:

  • Chair: Christopher Sheard.
  • Alberta Health: Mark Brisson, Louise Hewak and Sharon McCaughan.
  • Alberta Medical Association: Jim Huston, Dr. Gerry Kiefer and Dr. Linda Slocombe.

Update

The Physician Compensation Committee (PCC) has met four times since its first meeting in December.

Over the course of these meetings, the committee’s collective and collaborative efforts have made significant strides in Allocation 2014 and the corresponding rate increases for Alternate Relationship Plans (ARPs), the Business Costs Program and Rural Remote Northern Program.

The PCC has also determined an hourly rate for physicians working in Family Care Clinics (FCCs).

Approved items

1. Allocation 2014: The PCC Committee has approved the allocation of 2.5%, effective April 1, 2014. Detailed information regarding the Schedule of Medical Benefits changes will follow in March.

2. Alternate Relationship Plan (ARP): The PCC Committee reviewed recommendations for Clinical and Academic ARP rate increases. On January 24, 2014, the recommendations to increase the Annualized Clinical ARP rates and Academic ARP rates were approved and will come into effect, April 1, 2014.

The rate increases were determined as follows:

  • Annualized Clinical ARPs: Effective April 1, 2014, average percent increases per section (as discussed in Allocation 2014 above) were used to calculate the rate increases for clinical ARPs for the same effective date (April 1, 2014).
  • Sessional Clinical ARPs: A 3.67% increase was applied to the sessional general practice rate and a 1.74% increase was applied to the sessional specialist rate. This resulted in a single sessional payment rate of $211.75 per hour for both general practice physicians and specialists.
  • Capitation Clinical ARPs: A 3.67% increase was applied to capitation clinical ARPs.
  • Annualized Clinical ARP Supplements: The 2014-15 sectional increases will not be applied to supplements.

A detailed list of clinical ARP rates will be made available.

  • Academic Alternate Relationship Plan (AARP) Effective April 1, 2014, average percent increases per section were used to calculate the April 1, 2014, rate increases for the clinical portion of AARPs.

3. Business Costs Program (BCP): The PCC has determined that effective April 1, 2014, a 2.5% increase will be applied to the BCP rate.

4. Rural Remote Northern Program (RRNP): The PCC has determined that effective April 1, 2014, a 2.5% increase will be applied to the flat fee component of the RRNP.

5. Family Care Clinic (FCC) Compensation: The PCC has established an hourly rate of $170 for day time hours and $200 after hours for physicians involved with FCCs. Further detail is available to interested physicians.

Recent activities

The PCC is developing an interim work plan to help identify an extensive list of priorities, while focusing on a few initial areas over the next year. For example, the PCC has identified the following areas of work as immediate priorities:

  • Primary care compensation.
  • Family Care Clinic compensation (recently completed see above).
  • Business costs and overhead.
  • Relative value, including an individual fee review.

The PCC is committed to accomplishing its mandate as set out in the AMA Agreement. A Strategic Requirements document will be finalized soon to add further clarity. We look forward to keeping you informed on our progress through frequently recurring newsletters.

Questions?

  • For AMA at PCC, contact
    Jim Huston, Assistant Executive Director, Health Economics
    Email: Jim Huston
  • For information about PCC operations, contact Judith Watson
    Email: Judith Watson

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.