We hope this letter finds you well. The purpose of this letter is to inform you of a change in the clinic’s billing policy for services provided to patients covered under the “The Régie de l’assurance maladie du Quebec” (RAMQ).
Reciprocal billing agreements between the provinces, with the exception of Quebec, allow physicians to submit claims to Ontario Ministry of health and long-term care for most services provided to out-of-province patients. Since Quebec chose not to participate in the inter-provincial reciprocal billing agreement, Ontario physicians, when providing services to a patient from Quebec, have 2 billing options:
- Bill Quebec patients directly at the uninsured services rate. The patient can then seek reimbursement from the Quebec Health Plan (up to the rates payable for those services under the Quebec fee schedule) and/or private insurance, if applicable.
- Bill the “The Régie de l’assurance maladie du Quebec” which is paid at the applicable Quebec rates for the services rendered.
While most if not all clinics in the Ottawa region bill Quebec patients directly for services rendered, ByWard FHT physicians have, for several years now, opted to bill RAMQ directly as well as bill patients a non-refundable service fee. The purpose of the fee is to compensate for the rate disparity between Quebec and Ontario as well as to pay for the resources required to submit the claims.
Billing RAMQ directly has proven to be a labour-intensive process and because it is a paper-based process, it can be very difficult to trace and can often take several months before a provider is compensated.
After careful consideration ByWard FHT family physicians have decided to follow the same billing practice, when providing services to Quebec patients, as other clinics in the Ottawa region. As of May 1, 2021, Quebec patients, will be required to pay for services provided by their primary care provider.
For virtual (telephone or video) appointments, patients will be required to pay an initial base service fee at the time of booking.
If an in person visit is required, patients will be charged when registering for their appointment.
Depending on the reason for the visit, the invoice will be adjusted and patients will be required to pay the difference after the visit. Once payment is received in full the patient will receive a detailed receipt which they may submit to RAMQ (and or private insurance if applicable) for reimbursement.
We appreciate that this is a significant change to our process that may be difficult for some. If you are calling the clinic to express your concerns, please be patient, courteous and respectful when speaking to our staff. Your kindness is always appreciated.
Specialists are currently reviewing their billing practices when providing services to a patient from Quebec. Patients who are booked for an appointment and will be impacted by a change in policy will be notified of any changes.
If a patient misses their appointment, they will be reimbursed the initial amount, minus the missed appointment fee.
***Reminder: For virtual telephone appointments your provider is most likely calling from a blocked number and that patients should be prepared to receive a phone call from their provider at the scheduled time and to allow 30-60 min for possible delays. Providers typically will try to call at least twice if the patient doesn’t answer. If the call is not answered it will be documented and the patient will be charged a missed appointment fee.
Patients who cancel their appointment with the required notification (see Appointment cancellation policy) can contact the clinic to request a refund.
For information on how to submit your paid receipt to RAMQ for reimbursement go to: https://www.ramq.gouv.qc.ca/en/citizens/absence-quebec/request-a-reimbursement-services-received-outside-quebec
Reimbursement will be at the RAMQ rate which will not cover the cost of the entire visit. RAMQ patients may want to consider purchasing supplemental private insurance. See link below for additional information.
Yes. A virtual consultation and an in person visit are considered 2 separate visits, regardless if for the same issue or on the same day. Receipts may be submitted to RAMQ (and or private insurance if applicable) for reimbursement
The base rate can be anywhere between 50$ to 120$
Yes, the new RAMQ payment policy will apply to patients who have an appointment after May 1st.
Those who have a booked virtual appointment and have already paid the $25 visit fee, will be contacted prior to their appointment to pay the difference.
Those who call for an appointment and are booked after May 1st, will be subject to the new RAMQ payment policy.
Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to working together towards your health and wellness.
We ask that you please submit your questions and or feedback by accessing our online feedback form at https://bywardfht.ca/contact/feedback/
The ByWard Family Health Team