Z-code deadline delayed

December 3, 2021

Dr. Vesta Michelle Warren, AMA President

Dear Members,

For many physicians the January 1, 2022 date for implementation of the proposed Z-codes and Alberta Health Services overhead policy was a great concern. Yesterday, Alberta Health released a bulletin stating that the implementation date for both of these items is being delayed: Z-codes to October 2022 and AHS overhead targeted for June 2022. We have been actively advocating on these issues and I am pleased to know that so many members who are already struggling with so many challenges will have a reprieve.

While it’s appreciated, the delay itself is not a solution. It’s critical that we take this time to align AHS overhead policy with other parts of the compensation environment. This includes the ongoing questions around AHS stipend payments, the Physician Compensation Advisory Committee process contributing to Ministerial decision-making and the structure and amounts of virtual care codes.

We welcome the space and time provided by this announcement as an opportunity to continue to work with government to develop a comprehensive strategy built on consistent compensation policy. In our view, these matters need to be discussed in negotiations leading to a provincial agreement and a framework that deals with all aspects of physician compensation.

I will keep you posted. You can get in touch by:

  • Communicating with me privately and directly by email if you would like a reply: president@albertadoctors.org.
  • Commenting publicly on this President’s Letter below (please be aware that comments are public, i.e., not members-only, even if you are logged in as a member).

Sincerely,

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

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