Ontario Offers Doctors ‘Cash Advances’ to Save Clinics

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Ontario Government Offers ‘Cash Advance’ to Concerned Doctors make rent on their clinics and pay staff as patient visits decrease Covid-19 pandemic, the Star has learned.

While doctors were given new fee codes to bill the Ontario Health Insurance Plan for virtual and telephone consultations in the age of physical distancing, those payments were not going to be made until June. .

“We know there is a problem right now,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said on Friday, acknowledging that the Ontario Medical Association had expressed concerns about the closure of some clinics, leaving them. patients aside.

Doctors will receive monthly payments in May, June and July, up to 70% of their average billing over the previous 12 months, a senior government source told The Star.

“In addition to our extensive efforts to provide physicians with increased flexibility and expanded opportunities to support patients… these advance payments to physicians, which will be reconciled with future income, will ensure the stability of our medical services as we continue our battle against COVID-19, ”said Travis Kann, Elliott’s director of communications.

Doctors will be asked to repay the advances starting in November, free of interest, by submitting five equal monthly payments by March 2021. If this is not done, the money will be deducted from future billings.

A Mississauga allergist and immunologist took to social media earlier this week to sound the alarm bells about her plight after opening a new “at risk” clinic after a massive investment in premises and equipment.

“Our number of patients has started to drop significantly every day” after the publication in mid-March of guidelines on physical distancing and home maintenance, said Dr Zainab Abdurrahman.

“Other clinics are in the same situation and if a large number of clinics cannot remain open, it will have a significant impact on patient care within and beyond our specialty,” she added. .

“Now, like many others, we are struggling, trying to find ways to pay our rent.”

Kann said there had been “heavy use” of virtual and phone visits, and doctors left “underemployed” by the pandemic could register on a government portal to be connected with hospitals and doctors. ‘other health care employers seeking to fill gaps in care.

Doctors can also in many cases apply for federal programs to supplement income.

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