Manitoba government takes aim at errors in physician billing
The Manitoba government is introducing legislation that aims to create a better resolution process for disputes over physician billing. (File image)
WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba government is introducing legislation that aims to create a better resolution process for disputes over physician billing.
According to a government press release, in 2015, physician billing totalled $741 million, with $7,000 determined to be an overpayment. That translates to a recovery rate of less than one-thousandth of one per cent.
The release said oversight for physician billing was significantly scaled back by the previous government, impacting both accountability and recovery of funds paid out either inappropriately or by error.
The announcement came Saturday from Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen who said the Legislative Amendment to Address Doctors’ Concerns, will be introduced during Spring Session.
“Ensuring proper billing oversight, accountability and fairness is essential in a well-functioning health system,” said Friesen. “We are pleased to have brokered an agreement with Doctors Manitoba to address concerns they raised about disputes that could arise from billing audits.”
The bill looks to outline the role of the department in a clearer way and to better integrate the responsibilities of Shared Health and other various service delivery organizations.
“Doctors across Manitoba provide excellent and compassionate care,” said Friesen. “However, with nearly a billion dollars in taxpayer dollars now at stake, we know there must be better checks and balances in place to ensure every payment made is appropriate.”
Modification of the bill will come in the form of an amendment to be introduced when the legislature resumes sitting in March.
Amendments to The Regional Health Authorities Act and other legislation were re-introduced in the fall as part of Manitoba’s health-care transformation plan.
The transformation plan, found online here, says Manitoba has the second-highest health spending in the country, yet continues to struggle with poor health outcomes.
When released last year, both NDP and Liberal parties expressed concern over the changes.
-With files from CTV’s Beth Macdonell