Resources

Find answers to the most commonly asked questions and search through resources related to Primary Care Network opportunities.

Family Physician

FAQ & Resources

Nurse Practitioner

FAQ

Family Physician FAQ

How will the 200 GPs be sourced?

As the primary objective of this initiative is to increase patient attachment across the province, recruitment will initially target GPs who do not have a patient panel, including, but not limited to, new and recent graduates. The province’s ability to retain recent graduates of family medicine, by providing opportunities that align with their professional interests, will also be an important aspect of this recruitment strategy.

I am a physician with a busy practice and I am interested in transitioning to an alternative pay model. Is this opportunity available to me?

The objective of this initiative is to increase patient attachment across the province and as such, this initiative is targeted to practitioners who do not currently have a patient panel. Over the coming months, other Service Contracts will be developed to support physicians with existing patient panels to transition to alternative compensation options as part of the PCN process.

I am a physician who has been doing locums for the last three years. Will I be considered for one of these new positions?

The objective of this initiative is to increase patient attachment across the province. If you currently do not have a practice with a patient panel but are interested in establishing a family practice and building your own patient panel, you are encouraged to apply.

Will this opportunity be open to International Medical Graduates?

On August 22, 2018, Health Match BC launched a marketing strategy initially focused on physicians in BC who do not currently have a patient panel. Over the coming months, marketing and recruitment will be expanded to suitable candidates in the rest of Canada and internationally in a phased approach.

Is there a term to the contract? What happens when the term ends?

The term of the Service Contract is three years.

Compensation options, alternative to fee-for-service and employment arrangements, are currently being implemented in a phased approach to support the PCN service plans. This includes the development of a Service Contract for established practitioners with a patient panel and the expansion of population based funding models.

At the end of the contract term, it is expected that the practitioner’s practice will be fully established and that they will have a full patient panel. Practitioners will be able to choose between staying on a Service Contract or transition to one of the compensation options that support PCNs and team based care.

I am interested in obtaining a part time position. Is this an option for me?

If a practitioner currently does not have a patient panel but is interested in establishing a full-scope family practice and working a minimum of 0.5 FTE, part-time opportunities may be available.

Do I have the ability to obtain additional employment on a casual or part-time basis while working under a primary care Service Contract?

Practitioners may commit to other opportunities; however, it is expected that they will do so only if they are able to fully meet all the obligations under the Service Contract and the Practice Agreement with the group practice (including any extended/after hours and on-call requirements), and the work is clearly done outside the Service Contract required hours and panel commitments.

Will I be expected to provide extended hours of services or be “on call”?

Practitioners are expected to make themselves available to provide services after-hours. Any services provided that arise from being called in after-hours fall within the scope of this contract and are included in the practitioner’s reportable hours.

The contract does not address the specifics of call requirements for patients within the group practice; this is a matter for the group practice to coordinate. The contract does not provide payment for “availability”; however, any services provided while on-call can be included in the hours under the contract and will count towards the minimum hours or service requirement.

What funding is provided to cover the practitioner’s overhead costs?

The Service Contract rates are competitively set for BC to provide income security while the new practitioner establishes their practice and builds their patient panel, and take into consideration overhead and other costs such as purchasing benefits.

Similar to fee-for-service, which is a gross payment amount inclusive of overhead, the all-in compensation rates include a provision for overhead and are competitive. The rates are within the approved APSA rates for the GP – Full Scope practice categories.

How does this model differ from Fee-for-Service (FFS)?

Under both payment modalities, the GPs are independent, autonomous practitioners; however, the Service Contract better supports the PCN and team-based care. Under FFS, physicians are paid a specified amount for providing services in accordance with the Medical Service Commission Payment Schedule; there are billing restrictions on delegating services and limited ability to bill for team consultations. Under a Service Contract, time is a major component of payment (e.g., 1,680 to 2,100 hours per year for one FTE) along with other deliverables (e.g., minimum panel target). Compared to FFS, contracted physicians have a more stable and predictable income, which enables them to spend more time with patients and to work in interdisciplinary teams. Contracted physicians will also have reduced administrative burden compared to FFS through simplified encounter reporting.

What if I am having a hard time meeting certain deliverables such as the minimum panel size?

Generally, if a practitioner is having difficulties meeting a deliverable, it is expected that the practitioner works with the health authority and/or their group practice to identify strategies to address the concern and meet the deliverable going forward. The Ministry will be taking a learning and quality improvement approach.

Family Physician Resources

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General Practice Services Committee (GPSC)

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Divisions of Family Practice BC

Nurse Practitioner FAQ

How does this model differ from working for a health authority?

This is a Service Contract, meaning the NP will be an independent contractor and not an employee of the health authority. The health authority will be the other party to the contract and the contract administrator. The contract will allow the practitioner to join an established clinic/practice or establish their own group practice. A Practice Agreement will also be in place for the NP and the clinic to establish further details.

Will NPs receive benefits and/or pension?

Benefits are not provided under the NP contract and must be obtained separately by the NP.

The service contract rates for NPs were established with the objective of providing income comparable to that earned by NPs employed in health authorities. To maintain equity with health authority-employed NPs, the service contract rates are adjusted to recognize benefits and other costs that are borne by the health authority as the employer, such as medical and dental benefits, medical liability coverage, professional development, disability insurance, parental leave, and pension/retirement savings plan.

Are these opportunities open to International NPs?

Marketing and recruitment will be expanded to suitable candidates in BC, the rest of Canada, and internationally. Please contact Health Match BC to see if you are eligible.

Is there a term contract? What happens when the term ends?

The term of the Service Contract is three years.

Compensation options, alternative to fee-for-service and employment arrangements, are currently being implemented in a phased approach to support the PCN service plans. This includes the development of a Service Contract for established practitioners with a patient panel and the expansion of population based funding models.

At the end of the contract term, it is expected that the practitioner’s practice will be fully established and that they will have a full patient panel. Practitioners will be able to choose between staying on a Service Contract or transition to one of the compensation options that support PCNs and team based care.

I am interested in obtaining a part time position. Is this an option for me?

If a practitioner currently does not have a patient panel but is interested in establishing a full-scope family practice and working a minimum of 0.5 FTE, part-time opportunities may be available.

Do I have the ability to obtain additional employment on a casual or part-time basis while working under a primary care Service Contract?

Practitioners may commit to other opportunities; however, it is expected that they will do so only if they are able to fully meet all the obligations under the Service Contract and the Practice Agreement with the group practice (including any extended/after hours and on-call requirements), and the work is clearly done outside the Service Contract required hours and panel commitments.

What funding is provided to cover the NP’s overhead costs?

The Service Contract rates are competitively set for BC to provide income security while the new practitioner establishes their practice and builds their patient panel.

The compensation rates are set based on the salary grid rates for NPs employed by the health authorities, with consideration for the differences associated with being an independent contractor versus an employee (e.g., benefits, pension). Recognizing that overhead costs are paid by health authorities for their NP employees, a separate overhead allocation is provided.

If an NP has a full panel, what happens if they leave the clinic temporarily (maternity for example)?

For an expected leave, the NP should look for another NP to take over the contract for the duration of the leave. If this is not possible due to a lack of availability of alternative providers, a discussion with the clinic about coverage for the time away will need to occur and a mutually agreed upon arrangement decided.

How will the 200 NPs be sourced?

As the primary objective of this initiative is to increase patient attachment across the province, recruitment will initially target NPs who do not have a patient panel, including, but not limited to, new and recent graduates. The province’s ability to retain recent graduates by providing opportunities that align with their professional interests will also be an important aspect of this recruitment strategy.