Retention Benefit Program (RBP)

The RBP supports and promotes the retention of physicians by rewarding their continuous years of service to Albertans. The program is provided through an agreement between the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) and Alberta Health.

Update: July 17, 2017

As of the June 2017 reconciliation date set by the Amending Agreement, the 2016-17 Available Amount was $4,230 million and total expenditures on physician services were $4,352 million. This means that the Available Amount was exceeded and therefore the 2016-17 holdback payment – the $73 million Retention Benefit – will not be paid this year.

The savings initiatives under the Amending Agreement were successful in slowing the rate of growth in expenditures. Since 2014, physician service expenditures have been growing at a rate of 10% year-over-year. This rate shrank considerably in 2016-17 to 4.5%. What has been accomplished speaks to a good opportunity for achieving targets for 2017-18 (with a full year to accumulate savings).

Please see the July 17 President’s Letter for more information.

About the Retention Benefit under the AMA Amending Agreement as of October 2016

Under the newly ratified Amending Agreement, the 2016 and 2017 Retention Benefit payments have been placed at risk (along with the April 1, 2017 Schedule of Medical Benefits Adjustment). These are referred to as the “Holdbacks.”

The Amending Agreement means that these at-risk payments will be withheld/held back in each of the two years until a reconciliation can be completed. The reconciliation compares the Available Amount provided by government with Actual Expenditures for physician services. Savings initiatives under the Amending Agreement have been designed to help reduce the level of overall spending and reduce Actual Expenditures.

We will not know whether some or all of the Retention Benefit payments will be made until June 2017 and June 2018.

The determination will be made on the basis of the reconciliation process. As soon as possible after the end of each of the 2016-17 and 2017-18 fiscal years, but no later than June 30, the reconciliation process will take place and the Reconciliation Gap (the difference between the Actual Expenditures and the Available Amount of funding provided by government) will be determined. Once the Reconciliation Gap is determined the following applies:

For 2016-17

  • If the 2016-17 Reconciliation Gap is greater than the 2016-17 Holdback, Alberta Health (AH) shall retain the 2016-17 Holdback

  • If the 2016-17 Reconciliation Gap is greater than $0 and less than or equal to the 2016-17 Holdback, AH shall retain the 2016-17 Reconciliation Gap from the 2016-17 Holdback and release the remainder to physicians and authorize the AMA to pay a full or pro-rated Retention Benefit to physicians for the 2016-2017 fiscal year (depending on amount available) in accordance with the relevant grant agreement, or in some other manner that the parties agree to.

For 2017-18

  • If the 2017-18 Reconciliation Gap is greater than the 2017-18 Holdback, AH shall retain the 2017-18 Holdback.

  • If the 2017-18 Reconciliation Gap is greater than $0 and less than or equal to the 2017-18 Holdback, AH shall retain the 2017-18 Reconciliation Gap from the 2017-18 Holdback and release the remainder of the 2017-18 Holdback to physicians in the following manner and order (depending on the amounts available):

    • a full or pro-rated Agreed Increase of COLA for the 2017-2018 fiscal year will be accounted for and a retroactive adjustment made to the SOMB effective April 1, 2017; and

    • a full or pro-rated Retention Benefit for the 2017-2018 fiscal year (depending on amount available) will be paid by the AMA to eligible Physicians in accordance with the relevant grant agreement.

How do I receive this benefit?

The AMA will send you a retention benefit package automatically when you are eligible for this benefit. You will be required to complete certain forms at this point.

For example, although payments will not be made immediately, we will require your consent to collect payment information from the various paying agencies such as Alberta Health. Without your consent, we cannot begin to gather this information.

Retention benefit program eligibility

Program information

Questions?

Contact:
Silvana Cruces
Alberta Medical Association
T 780.482.2626
Toll-free 1.866.714.5724
amamail@albertadoctors.org

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.