News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

January 25, 2020

AGREEMENT ON DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCESS FOR PHYSICIAN BILLING REACHED

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Legislative Amendment to Address Doctors' Concerns Will be Introduced in Spring Session: Friesen

The Manitoba government will bring changes to The Regional Health Authorities Act in the upcoming spring session that would strengthen the resolution process for disputes over physician billing, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen announced today.
 
“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.”
 
Under the former government, oversight for physician billing was significantly scaled back, which impacted both accountability and recovery of funds paid out either inappropriately or by error, said Friesen.  For instance, in 2015, physician billing totalled $741 million, yet only $7,000 was determined to be an overpayment.  That represents a recovery rate of less than one-thousandth of one per cent.
 
“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 to support Manitoba’s health-care transformation plan in order to simplify an overly complex and expensive system that achieves better results for patients.  In addition to articulating the role of the department in a clearer way, the bill would better align and integrate the responsibilities of Shared Health and various service delivery organizations including regional health authorities.
 
For more information on health system transformation, visit www.gov.mb.ca/health/hst.  
 
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