This resources page has been created to provide physicians and the public with the latest information on the COVID-19 virus in Saskatchewan. To avoid duplication and ensure you have only the most current information, we will link only to third party resource pages, rather than the resources themself. SMA resources will remain on this page.

Can't find what you need? Contact the SMA Communications team at communications@sma.sk.ca or 306-281-4012 and we would be happy to assist you.

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Compensation:

Virtual assessment

Working with the Ministry of Health, the SMA has secured a temporary payment for Pandemic Telephone Assessment (510A) for direct patient care provided by physicians over the telephone and Pandemic Video Assessment (515A) for care provided via video conferencing. This initiative enables greater access for patients and provides for a safer workplace for staff and physicians in primary health care clinics. 

510A Pandemic Telephone Assessment ($35.00): 
View Billing Information sheet.

Highlights:

  • Physicians who are compensated by an alternate payment plan (APP), or directly by the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) are permitted to “shadow bill” these services.

  • Physicians can be paid for telephone assessments not restricted to diagnosis specific to COVID-19.

  • Telephone assessment cannot be billed with any additional service codes.

  • Services provided in person may be billed according to the Payment Schedule.

  • A maximum of two telephone assessments per patient per day by any physician.

  • Physicians are responsible to ensure proper documentation of the telephone assessment.

This temporary code is now available in the MedAccess and Accuro EMRs.

515A Pandemic Video Assessment ($35.00)
View Billing Information sheet

The SMA, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, has made progress on facilitating the patient video assessment. A software called PEXIP (https://www.pexip.com ) has been previously evaluated and assessed. This software has been selected to deploy in physician clinics to support your immediate need for patient video assessments. The billing fee code for video assessment is 515A.

PEXIP has been approved by the SMA, Ministry of Health, SHA and SCA for video assessments. This virtual care tool is being provided at no cost to all Saskatchewan physicians for 12 months from March, 2020 to March  2021. The SK EMR Program and eHealth are also providing full support with licenses, account creation, deployment, training and on-going support. In that case any cost associated with the software, as well ensuring the platform is secure, will be the responsibility of the physician. If physicians are already using an eHealth supported video system they can continue to use it. You will be able to use the billing code regardless of the technology platform chosen for the video assessments.

Physicians who want this technology (PEXIP) must signal their interest by sending their name, email address, clinic name, location, phone number, clinician type and specialty to this email address: emr@sma.sk.ca.

After signaling your interest to the above email address, you will receive an email from Telemerge prompting you to register, and a follow-up from an EMR Practise Advisor to schedule assistance and training.

Specialist and psychiatry virtual care codes

The SMA and Ministry of Health are pleased to announce the expansion of the temporary pandemic telephone/video codes to include the following time-based services:

  • Specialist Consultations (and extended consultations)

  • Specialist Visits (and extended visits)

  • Psychotherapy and other psychiatric services

 Overview of Billing Information:

  • Services may be delivered via telephone or secure videoconference.  

  • Services are not restricted to a diagnosis specific to COVID-19.

  • Patient must be referred for virtual care consultation.

  • Maximum of one Pandemic Virtual Care service per patient, per day.

  • Not payable for prescription renewals, notification of normal test results, or notification of office, referral or other appointments or other administrative tasks.

  • Communication between the physician and an established patient or a new patient seeking medically required services during a pandemic (or patient’s parent, guardian or proxy as established by written consent).

  • All of the above listed Pandemic Virtual Care codes are time-based. All time requirements/calculations are for direct physician-patient interaction only. Pandemic virtual care services that are less than 7.5 minutes of direct physician-patient interaction may be claimed under 510A/515A – Pandemic Telephone/Video Assessment. 

  • Physicians are responsible to ensure appropriate documentation (that must include start and stop time) according to the “Documentation Requirements for the Purposes of Billing”.

Billing Information Sheet: Pandemic Virtual Care – Specialist consultation or visit provided via telephone or secure videoconference

Billing Information Sheet: Pandemic Virtual Care – Psychotherapy and other psychiatric services provided via telephone or secure videoconference

Virtual Care training and support materials

  • PEXIP orientation video
    An orientation video (11 minutes) introducing the PEXIP software is available here. Use this password to view: jBZPtmC4

  • SMA Virtual Care Quick Start Guide
    The Saskatchewan EMR Program has released a Virtual Care Quick Start Guide to support you in providing virtual consultations to your patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please click here to access the guide.

  • PEXIP WebEx training
    The program is also pleased to offer series of  WebEx training sessions for the video conferencing software PEXIP. Please see the attached schedule for more details. 

  • CMA Virtual Care Playbook
    The CMA has written a virtual care playbook and made it available to all Canadian Physicians. The purpose of the playbook is to introduce virtual patient encounters (aka telemedicine) into their daily practices. It is intended to be virtual care platform and vendor agnostic. It focuses on video visits, though phone calls and patient messaging are also categorized as virtual care. While not exhaustive, the playbook covers all key considerations to succeed at providing safe, effective and efficient care.

The SMA appreciates your patience. Information is constantly changing and our staff are are doing their best to keep you up-to-date and provide the support you need, so you can focus on your patients’ needs.

The SMA recognizes that these two virtual care codes do not adequately reflect all of the physician services which can be provided virtually. We are working with the Ministry to expand the list of eligible virtual care codes to ensure physicians can continue to provide seamless care to their patients. 

Physician Dislocation:

Furthermore we are appreciative of the potential need to alleviate the negative financial impacts experienced by physicians should it be necessary for them to be quarantined. We have raised this concern with government. We are engaging with our PTMA colleagues to devise programs that will deal with these consequences. 

Resources to support you 

To provide your patients when appropriate:

Information for the public:

SMA Practice Alert archive:

Please note, Practice Alerts are only current to the date and time they are issued. Information is being updated on a constant basis and the most current information from Public Health is available at the SHA coronavirus page for health care providers.

 

Events