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Divisions of Family Practice
Divisions Dispatch
March 20, 2020


  1. COVID-19 billing changes
  2. Virtual care support from Doctors Technology Office
  3. New COVID-19 self-assessment tool
  4. Sick notes unnecessary during COVID-19 outbreak
  5. Suspension of the Driver Medical Examination Reports
  6. Dr Anthon Meyer appointed as next GPSC Co-Chair
  7. Team Charting Agreement webinar recording and patient notification posters now available
  8. Updated BC Health Quality Matrix
  9. MRI Central Intake Office – Updated MRI Appropriateness Check
  10. Mini-Profiles showing physician MSP payments for 2018 now available
  11. Divisions in the News

COVID-19 billing changes

The BC government and Doctors of BC have agreed to two new fee codes for office visits for patients with suspected or active COVID-19 symptoms. The new fee codes are in addition to billing changes announced earlier this week to enabling physicians to increase  use of virtual care.

Please note, although these codes cannot be billed on the same day as another face-to-face service for the same patient. However, they can be billed in addition to a telehealth/telephone service on the same day.

Information on the new office codes can be found here.

Information on all billing changes can be found on  the COVID-19 temporary billing changes page.

To inform physicians on information important to them during this health care emergency, Doctors of BC has created a COVID-19 resource page.

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Virtual care support from Doctors Technology Office

Virtual care is essential during the COVID-19 outbreak because it enables physicians to provide effective primary care while limiting transmission risk. In response to requests for support, Doctors Technology Office (DTO) is implementing measures including:

Virtual Care resources

These items are included in DTO’s virtual care resource list, which is being updated as information become available.

For more information about the virtual care resources mentioned above, contact DTO at 604 638-5841, 1-800 665-2262 (toll-free), or

Virtual Care webinar recording available

A March 19 webinar provided a physician-led overview of the DTO Virtual Care Quick Start Guide and a Q&A session about remote patient treatment.

Virtual Care Support Network

DTO is coordinating a network of physicians, MOAs, and Practice Support Program (PSP) Regional Support Team members to provide in-clinic/virtual coaching and one-on-one support to practices implementing virtual care.

For more information, or to request support from a PSP regional support team coach or peer mentor, please contact

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New COVID-19 self-assessment tool

British Columbians who are concerned they may have symptoms related to COVID-19 are encouraged to use an Online Self-Assessment Tool, developed by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), which may be particularly helpful for people in self-isolation and those returning from travel abroad (and their family members).

The tool will help to determine if further assessment or testing is needed. Over 700,000 British Columbians have used the tool since it was introduced.

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Sick notes unnecessary during COVID-19 outbreak

To decrease the unnecessary burden on the health care system and to ensure existing resources are prioritized to help patients in need, BC’s doctors are asking employers to not require sick notes during the COVID-19 outbreak. These sentiments are echoed by Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix, and Doctors of BC president Dr Kathleen Ross.

For more information about sick notes and COVID -19, click here.

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Suspension of the Driver Medical Examination Reports

RoadSafetyBC is temporarily suspending the issuance of Driver Medical Examination Reports (DMER), along with any outstanding DMERs and other medical requirements, in response to the pressure on the medical community during the COVID-19 pandemic. RoadSafetyBC will not be seeking additional medical information from physicians at this time.

Physicians are still asked to report the highest-risk medically compromised drivers to RoadSafetyBC through Section 230 of the Motor Vehicle Act, and are asked to do so with as much information as possible to enable swift action by the Superintendent.

For physicians needing to contact RoadSafetyBC during this time, please use the physician only telephone line: 1-250-953-8612.

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Dr Anthon Meyer appointed as next GPSC Co-Chair

The Board of Doctors of BC has approved the appointment of Dr Anthon Meyer as the next GPSC Co-Chair. Dr Shelley Ross has graciously agreed to support Dr Meyer in his transition over the next few months.

Dr Meyer is a dedicated family physician with extensive clinical experience in primary and emergency care.  He serves as Medical Director of the Fort St. James Medical Clinic and also practices comprehensive family medicine and emergency care through his roles as a family physician with Stuart Lake General Hospital. Dr Meyer has held several leadership roles including President of the BC College of Family Physicians, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Northern Interior Division of Family Practice, Chairman of Health Data Coalition (HDC), Assistant Professor with the University of British Columbia, the University of Northern British Columbia, and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

His core belief of equal opportunities for rural and Indigenous communities has been a major influence on his career in medicine, and his leadership and teaching work has been recognized provincially and nationally.

The GPSC welcomes Dr Meyer to his new role and thanks Shelley for  her contributions during her time as Co-Chair.

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Team Charting Agreement webinar recording and patient notification posters now available

The GPSC Information Sharing Task Group has developed a Team Charting Agreement (TCA) to enable information sharing in PCNs. Below is the link to the recorded webinar and the presentation slides:

Clinics that have siigned a TCA are required to post a patient notification poster, which is now available on the PCN toolkit. There is one verion for each Health Authority region.

Additional Information sharing resources for PCNs are available on the PCN Toolkit site. For more information, you can also email:

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Updated BC Health Quality Matrix

The BC Patient Safety & Quality Council (BCPSQC) has released an updated BC Health Quality Matrix, which sets a common language and understanding about quality for all those who engage with, deliver, and support health and wellness services.

BCPSQC partnered with the First Nations Health Authority and received input from numerous community members and organizations. The updates provide a stronger definition of health care quality that aligns with the latest evidence, and also honours the history and teachings of Indigenous Peoples in the province.

A companion guide and visual tool were also released to guide the use of the Matrix.

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MRI Central Intake Office – Updated MRI Appropriateness Check

Lower Mainland Medical Imaging is updating the existing MRI appropriateness checklist to include shoulder MRIs, based on guidance from the BC Ministry of Health and feedback sessions with family physicians and specialists. The new version will replace the original at all health authority locations on March 16, 2020.

Submission of the new form for shoulder MRI referrals will become mandatory once the major EMR providers have been updated, which is expected to be completed in the latter half of 2020.

Based on feedback received during the first year of operations, new criteria to the knee/hip and lumbar spine checklists have been added.

Click here to access a copy of the new appropriateness checklist and the full March 16 memo. For any questions, please email

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Mini-Profiles showing physician MSP payments for 2018 now available

Doctors of BC members can now access their 2018 Mini-Profiles online. The profile provides doctors with statistics based on the Medical Services Plan (MSP) payments made for services provided in the 2018 calendar year, including any settlements or retroactive payments issued as of March 31, 2019. This information allows physicians to monitor billings in comparison to their peer group.

Claims paid by MSP on behalf of ICBC and Workers Compensation Board (WCB), are also reflected in the data. The profiles are an accurate reflection of claims submissions and payments made in the claims record, which identified the physician who provided the service, or in the case of referred services, identified a specific doctors as the referring practitioner. 

For questions or help understanding individual profiles, please contact Tara Hamilton at or by phone at: 604-638-6058 or toll-free at: 1-800-665-2262.

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Divisions in the News

March 4, 2020 Provincial Castanet West Kelowna could see 10,000 new residents within 15 years
March 4, 2020 Sunshine Coast Coast Reporter Beamish to hold community leaders summit
March 9, 2020 Provincial The Nelson Daily New urgent and primary care centre opens in Castlegar
March 12, 2020 Fraser Northwest Tri-City News COVID-19 behind cancellation of Tri-Cities seniors' health forum
March 12, 2020 Provincial Macleans Coronavirus in Canada: how to get tested, what the symptoms are, where to get help
March 14, 2020 Provincial Vancouver Sun People seeking testing for coronavirus face long lines as B.C. completes over 6,300 tests
March 15, 2020 Provincial Times Colonist What you need to know about coronavirus and how it spreads

The provincial communications team produces a twice-monthly newsletter designed to keep divisions up-to-date with the Divisions initiative. It is sent to local division executive directors, administration, physician leads, and board members. In order to minimize emails being sent these groups, we try to include as much in these newsletters as possible. We encourage you to share it with your division members at large. If you have a story you would like to submit for consideration, please contact Caroline McGechaen at

Media coverage is monitored by the Divisions of Family Practice provincial communications team and compiled on the Divisions in the News page.

This issue can also be found on the Divisions of Family Practice website.

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