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Alberta doctors to receive fair compensation for online visits

Last Updated Mar 23, 2020 at 3:10 pm MDT

Male doctor using mobile phone at hospital. Medical healthcare and doctor service. (Source: iStock)

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) – The Alberta government has added a temporary billing code to assure doctors are evenly paid for virtual visits.

The new billing code means doctors will be paid the same for online consultations as they would for face-to-face visits.

“We’re helping physicians provide care to Albertans during this critical time while also keeping them as safe as possible,” said Health Minister Tyler Shandro. “Virtual care codes will facilitate patient care while making it possible to follow public health guidelines of maintaining social distance and self-isolation.”

The changes will add physician billing codes for patient visits, consultations, and mental health services provided over the phone or through secure video conference.

WATCH: Alberta doctor wants virtual and in-person fees to be the same

“These new virtual care codes will make it possible for physicians to deliver care safely and effectively to patients during the pandemic,” said president of the Alberta Medical Association Dr. Christine P. Molnar. “These codes apply not only for COVID-19 care but for all the physical and mental health needs of patients as they present every day.”

Similar rules are already in place in British Columbia and Ontario.