This companion document (FAQs) is not a legal document, nor is it legally binding. This document is intended to help you understand the clinical ARP framework, but the language in the Clinical ARP Program Parameters and the Conditions of Payment Ministerial Orders (MOs) ultimately speaks for itself. In the event there is a discrepancy between this document and the provisions in the signed MOs, the signed MOs shall be paramount.
Am I entitled to the same physician benefit programs in a clinical ARP as I was in fee-for-service (FFS)?
Yes, clinical ARP physicians are entitled to the same benefits as FFS physicians, if eligible (e.g., Rural-Remote Northern Program, Business Cost Program, etc.).
Can a clinical ARP participating physician receive any fee-for-service (FFS) payments?
If all program services, the patient population and facility have been included in the Conditions of Payment (CoP) then the participating physician must bill the clinical ARP and not fee-for-service (FFS). However, if there are specific program services or specific patient populations or specific facilities not included in the CoP for the clinical ARP, then the physicians can bill FFS (as long as they are working outside of ARP compensated times). Physicians will have a FFS business arrangement number to use for FFS claims and a separate clinical ARP business arrangement number to use for clinical ARP claims. Physicians are expected to follow the CoP for their specific clinical ARP.
Do clinical ARP physicians receive the same annual payment increases as fee-for-service (FFS) physicians?
Historically, clinical ARP payment rates have been adjusted by the same sectional increases awarded to FFS physicians. However, any changes in clinical ARP payment rates are ultimately subject to review and approval by the Physician Compensation Committee which has representatives from both Alberta Health and the Alberta Medical Association.
Do I get compensated for any teaching in a clinical ARP?
Teaching that is done while providing program services (i.e., bedside teaching) as well as health education to Albertans is eligible for compensation through the clinical ARP. All other teaching is not funded by a clinical ARP.
Do I get compensated for any vacation or time off in a clinical ARP?
Similar to fee-for-service, physicians are not compensated for vacation or leave of absence in a clinical ARP.
Do I get compensated for on-call availability in a clinical ARP?
Clinical ARPs do not compensate physicians for on-call availability, either during regularly scheduled week days or after-hours. However, any program services provided while on call would be eligible for inclusion as program service hours for payment. For example, if you were on call from 1700 hours to 0800 hours the next day (15 hours) and you provided a total of two hours of patient care during this period (e.g., saw patients directly or handled patient-related phone calls); then, two hours of program services would be eligible for payment.
Do I get compensated for travel in a clinical ARP?
No, travel is not eligible for compensation through the clinical ARP.
How are the clinical ARP payment rates determined?
Clinical ARP rates are based on fee-for-service rates. Provincial base payment rates (PBPR) were originally derived from the 2002/03 fiscal year fee-for-service (FFS) billings for full-time (1.0 full-time equivalent) physicians in a specific specialty using a modified Canadian Institute for Health Information methodology (CIHI).
How do I pay a locum when I take time off?
If participating physicians qualify for the Specialist Locum Program or the Rural Locum Program, then the Alberta Medical Association will pay the locum and the clinical ARP reimburses the AMA. If participating physicians arrange for a private locum physician to provide any program services, the participating physicians must make payment arrangements directly with that locum physician. Locum physicians may not claim benefits directly from Alberta Health.
How is clinical ARP funding distributed?
Clinical ARP physician groups can choose one of three mechanisms for distribution of funds: funding is sent from Alberta Health to Alberta Health Services (or a third party organization) who then distributes the funds to physicians based on criteria agreed upon by physicians; or funding is sent from Alberta Health to a clinical ARP program bank account and then the program distributes funds to physicians based on criteria agreed upon by physicians; or funding is sent from Alberta Health directly to individual physicians (sessional ARP only).
How is the total funding for an annualized clinical ARP determined?
Compensation is based on many factors including, but not limited to the payment rate, number of approved full-time equivalents, application process, data analysis, or estimated time required to provide services.