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Practice Supports

Clinic Operational Resources

Overview

The following resource materials and links are offered for information and reference purposes only. As every application will be unique, these resources should not be construed as a substitute for legal, accounting, or professional consulting advice.

More resources are being added and materials may change or be updated. Bookmark this page and check back often to see updates.

Billing Resources

Physician billing is the backbone of a clinic. If clinics are not recording patient information correctly and using the right codes, this can delay the payments of revenue. Here are some tools and reminders to make sure you get your billing right and get paid on time. 

Alberta Medical Association Billing Resources
The AMA offers billing support to members and their billing teams through direct representation and advocacy with Alberta Health, on-line resources and education offerings. The AMA can help you understand claims results and help when claims are paid incorrectly by Alberta Health, due to things like systems error or inconsistent understanding/misapplication of billing rules.

    1. An introduction to the AMA Billing Services
    2. Recordings of training and webinars are available in the members only section of the AMA website. Contact: billingadvice@albertadoctors.org
    3. AMA Physician Billing - Fee Navigator 

Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan bulletin
These bulletins are created to provide health care professionals with clarification and guidance in understanding the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) and to keep them apprised of updates and changes to the Plan.

Virtual Care Code Changes
This AMA webpage on billing tips lists virtual care fee codes, modifiers, their use, and claim submission details.

Practice Management

Blended Capitation
This provincial Government website provides an overview of the Blended Capitation Clinical Alternative Relationship Plan (ARP) Model. Learn about the BC ARP model and how it increases access to primary health care for Albertans.

Physician's Resource Guide
Physicians and their office staff can use this guide to help them prepare claims for services that are insured under the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP), and follow up, if necessary, after claims have been assessed. This guide is designed for use in conjunction with the Schedule of Medical Benefits.

Should Physicians incorporate or not?
On this podcast, the hosts discuss the pros and cons of a big decision many physicians face – whether to incorporate or not. 

Cost Sharing Agreement
This is a sample cost-sharing agreement prepared by CPSA.

Drafting Instructions 
This template will assist physicians in drafting a practice agreement.

A guide to group Governance Agreements
Group governance agreements are designed to help you and your colleagues maximize the advantages that group practices have to offer while mitigating some of the challenges you may encounter. This guide is intended to provide physicians with an idea of what these challenges often look like and things to consider when planning ahead. 

Clinic Business Resources for Clinic Managers
The purpose of the AACM is to enable its members to participate in the available education opportunities relating to clinic business and to network with peers in the field of medical administration.

The Essential Guide to a Successful Practice
This guide provided by the Canadian Medical Association offers information for residents. It covers the topics of: 

  • Evaluating practice opportunities
  • Managing a successful practice
  • Demystifying medical billing
  • Financial planning
  • Completing the transition to pratice
  • The CMPA
  • Provincial and territorial medical associations

HR Resources

Employee Handbook
Making sure the right people, processes and systems are in place to help staff perform at their highest abilities is always challenging. Here is an employee handbook you can use to update or tailor for your use. 

Subsidy programs - workshare, training grants, other. 

Medical Liability Reimbursement Program
This provincial government website explains the Medical Liability Reimbursement (MLR) Program and how to apply. The MLR is a Government of Alberta initiative that provides partial reimbursement to eligible physicians for medical liability insurance fees. Physicians who meet the eligibility criteria are entitled to a reimbursement for the portion of their liability fees that exceeds the deductible amount set by the Alberta government.

Virtual Care
The Alberta Medical Association Website provides a hub for Virtual Care information of value to physician practices. It includes webinars and tools for physicians engaging in Virtual Care.

Electronic Medical Records (EMR)

Switching EMRs
This AMA webpage provides indepth tips and advice on considerations when changing EMR vendors.

Implementing an EMR System
This AMA webpage will help clinics prepare for an EMR implementation. It contains guidelines, tips and tools.

Are you still compliant with the Health Information Act (HIA)?
Your Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) requires ongoing review and updates to remain relevant and current. If you have adopted any new administrative practices or information systems that collect, use or disclose identifiable health information, an amendment to your PIA may be required. This AMA webpage provides a list of considerations for clinics regarding their HIA compliance.

Ca
sh flow and expense management

Tips for Improving Your Practice
Every practice can be improved. You may find that you and your staff expend energies on activities that have little or no value. You may be able to perform some activities more efficiently, allocate work better and eliminate redundancies.This article contains 22 tips, both large and small, that you may want to use to improve your practice.

The 12-Step Way To Reduce Practice Expenses: Part 1, Staffing Efficiencies
Staff-related expenses consume the largest portion of your overhead. Working to reduce practice expenses can seem daunting, in part because it's hard to know where to begin. This article can help. It begins to break down your expenses into sections you can tackle individually, one a month, starting with the ones most likely to repay your effort.

Canadian Physicians Financial Wellness
This 32-minute YouTube video contains highlight presentations from the 2021 annual Canadian Physicians Financial Wellness Conference. Topics covered include: Top 5 Financial Mistakes Doctors Make; Prenups, Cohabitation Agreements, Divorce; Evaluating Investiments, Factor Investing & Retirement; and more. 

Budgeting & Expense Tracking
Regardless of whether you have $100 or $100M in your bank account, if you don’t know how to manage your money, budget, and control expenses, you’re going to end up in debt. In this 15-minute YouTube video, Dr. Steph shares how she budgets and tracks expenses as well as the app she uses to track her net worth (=assets - liabilities) across different investing accounts. Includes an Excel budgeting spreadsheet for download.

Zero-Based Budgeting 101 article
This article and introductory YouTube video focuses on zero-based budgeting, also known as zero-sum budgeting, centers around the principle that every dollar in your budget should be categorized. At the end of the month, a zero-based budgeting system lets you know where 100% of your income went.

Overheads calculations

Mind Your Own Business
This article explains various options for physicians to determine the best overhead sharing arrangement.

Average Medical Practice Overhead & How to Reduce Practice Expenses
Overhead is calculated as costs as a percentage of revenue. Basically, this means any and all revenues that don’t go into your pocket. Almost every medical practice can lower expenses somewhere to reduce overhead. This articles helps provide you with information to address the following:

  • What counts towards overhead costs
  • How to calculate your current overhead
  • Steps to reduce practice expenses