After Hours Premiums

The After Hours Premiums tariffs (5555, 5553 and 5550) and rules are listed on pages B-1 and B-2 of the Physician’s Manual.

An After Hours Premium (either 50% or 75%, depending on the time of day/day of the week a service is provided) is payable in addition to the fee for a medical service if:

    1. the medical service is commenced during the hours set out in the After Hours Premium tariffs, and
    2. the medical service provided is urgent or emergent in nature.

Subject to certain specified exemptions, After Hours Premiums are payable regardless of where a service is rendered, including:

    1. in physicians’ offices (provided the physician’s office does not maintain regular hours of operation that fall within the periods of time specified in the after hours premiums tariffs), and
    2. in patients’ homes (even when those services are provided during the regular operating hours of a business dedicated to providing house call services).

After Hours Premiums are calculated on the basis of the total fee for all services rendered during the after hours period.  Therefore, if you make a special call during an after hours period to render an urgent/emergent service, you would claim a special call fee, the appropriate visit/procedure fee, and then apply the appropriate After Hours Premium percentage to the total of these fees.

Services Provided in a Physician’s Office

If you provide an urgent/emergent service in your office during an after hours period, you are entitled to claim an After Hours Premium with respect to that service (subject to the exception noted above).  In so doing, you must:

  1. include the words “urgent/emergent” on your claim, and
  2. if the ICD code included on the claim is not clearly demonstrative of the urgent/emergent nature of the service, include on the claim a brief comment to demonstrate the urgent/emergent nature of the service.

If it is unclear to the Manitoba Health staff person who processes the claim whether the service provided was urgent/emergent (based on the ICD code alone, or on a combination of the ICD code and the comments included with claim), the claim will be referred to a Manitoba Health senior staff member for review.  If the senior staff member finds it unclear whether the service provided was urgent/emergent in nature, the claim will be rejected, and you will thereafter have to query the claim and provide a more detailed explanation of the urgent/emergent nature of the service.

Telephone/Facsimile/E-mail Communications

After Hours Premiums apply to Telephone/Facsimilie/E-mail Communications” claims under Tariff 8000, Tariff 8001 and Tariff 8005 for communications which are of an urgent/emergent nature and which take place during an after hours period.

Urgent/Emergent Services Provided while On-Call for Basic “A” or Basic “B” ER/OPD

Physicians who provide on-call coverage of the emergency/out-patient departments of “Basic A” and “Basic B” hospitals, pursuant to the September 2, 2011 agreement between Doctors Manitoba and Manitoba Health are eligible to claim after hours premiums where fee for service billings  are permitted and the urgent/emergent service is provided during an after hours premium period.

 

What is Urgent/Emergent?

Since the Physician’s Manual does not contain a definition of an “urgent or emergent” service, physicians must consider the nature of each service rendered and use their discretion in determining which services qualify as “urgent or emergent”.

In exercising this discretion, some physicians make use of the caep.ca/resources/ctas/implementation-guidelines .  (These guidelines, used for classifying the acuity of a patient’s condition, are nationally recognized and internationally accepted, and endorsed by the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians).  These physicians will claim an After Hours Premium if a patient’s condition falls within Level I (resuscitation), Level II (emergent), Level III (urgent) or Level IV (less urgent or semi-urgent) of the guidelines.

Another factor that may be considered in determining whether a service qualifies as “urgent or emergent” (particularly in relation to house call services)is what time the call from the patient was received and what time the service was rendered.  The greater the lapse of time between these two events, the less likely the service would qualify as “urgent or emergent”.

Questions?

Braden Kalichuk
bkalichuk@docsmb.org
(204) 985-5848

 

Updated: May 2017