Enhanced virtual codes anticipated January 17: Be ready

January 2, 2024

Dr. Paul Parks, AMA President

Dear Members,

The AMA has been advocating ceaselessly for virtual code changes to be implemented as promised under our agreement. Our mental health system is in deep and increasing distress. Making it possible for physicians to provide a broader scope of virtual care to these patients is not only logical, it’s essential.

When she addressed the Fall Representative Forum, the Minister identified this as a key issue and advised that changes would be coming. We anticipate that Alberta Health will announce January 17, 2024 as the go-live date whereby eligible claims for virtual care services may be submitted for payment, retroactive to October 24, 2023.
We have been advocating to implement various changes to virtual codes, such as parity with in-person services, a new fee code for psychiatric treatment of a complex patient and other changes for prolonged visits and consultations. AMA Billing Services has produced a Billing Corner bulletin so that physicians can learn more about the codes involved and be ready to submit claims. As you review this information, please note that you cannot submit a claim until AH officially announces the go-live date by releasing a new bulletin on their AHCIP bulletins web page, so please hold your claims for the time being. The 90-day submission rule will be relaxed through to March 31, 2024.
This is my first President’s Letter of the new year.  If you missed my December 28 President’s Letter, be sure to review it now for important information about how you can support our campaign to ensure that health care - and family physician and rural generalist practices - are a priority for the government's upcoming Budget 2024.That letter also includes first action under our acute care stabilization proposal, focused on flexibility and real solutions for alternative relationship plans.


Paul Parks
President, Alberta Medical Association

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