Small patient panels matter, too

April 5, 2024

Dr. Paul Parks, AMA President

Dear Members,

Many members are extremely concerned that they are ineligible for the Transitional Funding Program funds that began flowing to physicians yesterday. Unfortunately, the TFP is not available to family or rural generalist practices with panels of under 500 patients.

There are many reasons that smaller panels exist, from geographic location, to patient complexity, to unique demographic factors of the patient population being cared for. Some small panels exist today because the physician was unable to financially sustain full time comprehensive care and therefore had to reduce their practice to part-time while shifting to provide other services.

Despite our best efforts, we could not persuade government to lower the threshold for eligibility. This was their decision.

That being said, the TFP is a one-time payment and a set amount of funds. On balance, we understand that panel size is a significant issue, but so too is the ability to flow $92 million – now – to practices that are in danger of going under. We believe there is still a lot to gain here.

We are hopeful that the TFP payments will buy some time for many physicians, but to return value for the investment, it must be followed with a long-term, sustainable payment option for comprehensive care. We must implement the Physician Comprehensive Care Model and do so urgently.

We have to live with the structure of the TFP and it will have a variable impact as a one-time payment. The long-term PCCM is a very different matter, and it will be critically important that we get things right. Let’s not lose more physicians because they are delivering comprehensive care, but to smaller panel populations.

Full-time or part-time practice, big or small panels, every panel matters because each panel member is one Albertan with unique needs that requires care from a family or rural generalist specialist.

Our advocacy continues and it has never been more important to communicate that the Urgency Is Still Real. If you are a family or rural physician who was excluded from the TFP because of the arbitrary panel size requirement, we want to hear from you. We need to know how your practices, communities and patients may be impacted. Please email We will tell you what we will be doing and how you can help.

Don’t forget registration is now open for our next Inside Scoop AMA Member Virtual Town Hall on Thursday, April 11 at 6 p.m.


Paul Parks
President, Alberta Medical Association

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