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New Billing Code in Canada Compensates MDs For Extra Time Spent with FM & CFS Patients

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By Editor • www.ProHealth.com • July 18, 2006


Many physicians resist taking the extra time needed to test, diagnose, and experiment with therapies for difficult, complex illnesses such as Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Often a physician will shrug off FM/CFS patients, or have them return for multiple visits focused on individual problems. If the physician’s target time per-patient-visit is eight minutes, for example, the problem boils down to reimbursement. Now Ontario, Canada’s most-populated province, has instituted a new Health Insurance Plan billing code (number 795), which reimburses doctors for extended visits with FM and CFS patients. Use of the new code will also produce more detailed statistics on these illnesses. This decision resulted from the efforts of multiple advocacy groups, which collaborated to inform decision-makers in the Ontario Medical Association and Ministry of Health. Their next objective: similar coding changes in all the provinces.



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