What is going on with the Ontario Doctor’s Billings?

If you’ve been following the news in Ontario lately you may be a little shocked to find out what some of the doctors have been billing the health insurance plan.   The statistics show that over 500 doctors billed 1 million each and even one even hit $6.6 million .   We really have to give some thought as to what does this type of billing do to us personally, what effect does it have on us, and why is it that some doctors are reaching these figures of income?   The $6.6 million that was billed by one specific doctor who is in the Ophthalmology  field.

The other top billers were radiologists and a few other specialities. It is now being dubbed as the million dollar club that is comprised of about 296 physicians in different specialities.

This may be a little surprising as one may think that it was perhaps the emergency room doctors who would be receiving this kind of money because of the large volume of patients that they see on a daily basis. But it comes down to that it is a small group of specialists at that are falling into this field.

The argument could be raised to the very fact that they are specialists and it does cost more and they have gone through a great deal more training, and have a lot more responsibility when it comes to patient care because of their specialties therefore its normal that they would be receiving more.

What the officials are saying is it’s because fee system has not been updated and kept in line with the technology that doctors have today. What this means is that procedures that would take the doctors a half an hour to an hour several years ago can now be done in a 10 or 15 minutes because of the modern equipment that they have to rely on.   Therefore they are seeing many more patients within that hour span.   While this sounds like a feasible argument it also raises the question why is it that we are still waiting many months to see many of the doctors in these specialties if they have so much time freed up?

The government has been taking some steps to try and cut back on what they consider unnecessary fees as they did with the methadone practice and the urine testing strips. The doctors would charge $35 for a urine testing when the stick itself only cost 2 to 3 dollars.

Last year there was a bit of a shakeup with a series of the cuts. The question is where those cuts made in the right areas of medicine and it would make one really question whether this was factual when we see figures like this coming in of million-dollar payments. This is something that is not going to be cleared up easily and both sides are going to have to come to the table and work out something that is agreeable for all parties, which we all know is not something that is going to be done overnight.

How it affects us personally is more towards the negative because if these costs continue like this then health care costs will continue to go up. Then the free medical care that we have here in Ontario could be jeopardized where going to end up picking up more of the costs than we do now.


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Sam Seidman, CPA, CA, LPA
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