Enhanced virtual care codes news, negotiations update

February 16, 2022

Dr. Vesta Michelle Warren, AMA President

Dear Members,

Enhanced virtual care codes can now be billed

Yesterday, Alberta Health released a bulletin informing physicians that effective February 15, 2022, all eligible claims for enhanced virtual care codes can now be submitted to AH’s claims system. These changes were announced on December 30, and were a priority issue the AMA asked to have addressed prior to moving into formal negotiations with government. While these adjustments relating to indirect patient care time and complex modifiers are important and broad-based priorities, there are still other items around virtual care that we continue to discuss with government. Some of these include aligning fees/rules for virtual psychiatric treatment with fees for in-person care, recognition of prolonged virtual consultations and visits, reducing time requirements for virtual assessments and allowing age modifiers on visits.

AMA’s Health Economics team has prepared a Billing Tip that provides further information and helpful instructions related to submitting these claims, including what to do in the event that you are unable to submit your claims within the usual 90-day time period (for dates of service January 1 – February 14, 2022 only).

Keeping you up to date on negotiations

We continue to progress with negotiations. The parties have met for two days already in February and will be meeting for three days next week. I continue to look forward to seeing what we can accomplish at the table with this new interest-based approach.

We are planning new engagement activities to keep members well informed during negotiations. You will hear more on the specifics of those activities and how you can participate for updates and input. Our goal is to keep members as informed as possible throughout the negotiations process, but if you have immediate questions or comments, you can always reach me at president@albertadoctors.org.

Sincerely,

Vesta Michelle Warren, MD, CCFP, FCFP
President, Alberta Medical Association

The AMA advances patient-centered, quality care by advocating for and supporting physician leadership and wellness.