Virtual Visit Updates — Changes to two tariffs are coming June 1 — they are largely reflective of the intent communicated from the outset by Manitoba Health and CPSM.
Top 40 Under 40 — We want to celebrate and recognize the amazing medical students, residents, and early
career physicians who are making an incredible impact and demonstrating true potential for excellence and innovation.
PRIDE — There are so many ways to show your support for 2SLGBTQIA+ patients and colleagues. Attend the Pride parade with us or join us for our Leadership & 2SLGBTQIA+ Health Panel Discussion. Create safe spaces with decals and pronoun badges!
Health System Updates — Updates include a change to where you can find transfusion and blood related information, an Opioid Agonist Therapy Prescribers Practice Manual, a MPox Update (#6), EIA disability assessment update, the Provincial Health leadership program and the Y Winnipeg is now offering Mental Health First Aid and First Aid Training.
Physician of the Week — Meet Dr. Jacie Grobb, an ER physician from Brandon.
2023 Gala — On May 13 we celebrated 9 amazing physicians at our annual awards gala.
ICYMI — Get caught up on news and updates you may have missed from our last few messages.
Upcoming Events — Attend book club, or a Drag Brunch connection event for 2SLGBTQIA+ Physicians, Residents and Medical Students, learn about the Intersections of Race, Faith, and Queerness, or attend any number of virtual or in-person events feature in our events calendar.
Virtual Visit Updates
We have a few important updates about virtual visits, including some clarifications Manitoba Health has made about when certain tariffs can be claimed, which come into effect on June 1.
Virtual Visit Tariff Changes – June 1
Manitoba Health had brought to our attention concerns regarding the use of the existing temporary Virtual Visit Tariffs. To promote continuity of care and to ensure some virtual visit tariffs are used as an extension of an established patient-physician relationship, both parties have agreed to the following clarifications.
Effective June 1, 2023, the following changes will be made to the current temporary virtual visit tariffs.
- Comprehensive Virtual Assessments by phone or video (tariffs 8442 and 8447) can only be claimed where there is an established patient physician relationship. An established relationship means:
- The physician has provided at least one insured service with a direct physician encounter between the patient and that physician in the preceding 24 months; or
- The physician is providing a virtual visit service to a patient who is on the panel of another physician within the same practice group where the physician has access to the patient’s medical record; or
- The physician is providing services through an existing contractual arrangement with Manitoba Health, an SDO or under the Master Agreement, including but not limited to Specialist on Call coverage or coverage of a Rural Emergency Department; or
- The physician provides or has provided in the preceding 24 months rural and remote medical termination (tariff 8427)
- Applicable to all virtual visit tariffs, after hours premiums may not be claimed in addition, except for established patients for urgent or emergency communications.
Please note that clarification 1 above applies to comprehensive virtual assessments, essentially equivalent to a complete in-person exam, and do not apply to other virtual visit tariffs such as consultations, regular virtual visits, or psychotherapy.
These clarifications about tariff use do not come as a surprise, and they are largely reflective of the intent communicated from the outset by Manitoba Health and CPSM. In the virtual visit reminders sent in February, we noted comprehensive virtual assessments are essentially equivalent to a complete in-person exam and is likely not appropriate for most episodic primary care encounters. It is also similar, though not nearly as restrictive as changes made in Ontario to significantly reduce payment for virtual episodic care visits.
We want to hear from you if you are concerned about how these changes will impact your practice. Please let us know by emailing us at email@example.com.
Fighting for Permanent Virtual Visit Tariffs
Our primary focus has been on protecting virtual visits and pushing for a permanent solution that is optimal for all physicians. As part of negotiating the next Master Agreement, our team has been very focused on ensuring virtual visits become a permanent part of medical care in Manitoba and, consequently, the physician manual. Each province has been approaching this differently, which shows the complexity of this issue and what’s at risk when we look at the current temporary tariffs in Manitoba. For example:
- In Saskatchewan, virtual visits are paid at approximately 90% of the corresponding in person rate, a limited virtual care visit provided by secure video conference applies to episodic care and is paid $24.50.
- In Ontario, where there is an established patient relationship, virtual visits are paid at 85% of the in the in person rate when provided by phone and 100% when provided through secure video. New limited virtual care tariffs will be paid at $15 phone call or $20 video call where there is no established patient relationship.
- In Alberta, virtual visits less than ten minutes in duration are paid a flat rate of $20.00.
Despite the position by some that virtual visits should be shorter and cheaper, we hear from physicians regularly that they can actually take as long or longer than an in-person exam. We are pressing this point, pushing for the best possible outcome for the medical community and, ultimately, your patients.
Top 40 Under 40
We want to recognize those amazing medical students, residents, and early career physicians who are making an incredible impact and demonstrating true potential for excellence and innovation. Nominations are now open for the Doctors Manitoba Top 40 Under 40! This special award was created this year to recognize and celebrate exceptional medical students, residents and early career physicians under the age of 40. This includes demonstrating excellence and commitment in areas such as clinical practice, research, education, leadership, advocacy and physician/learner well-being.
Nominations are due by June 30.
This fall we will host an event to celebrate the Top 40 Under 40 physicians and medical learners in our province.
Do you know an incredible physician or medical learner under the age of 40 who is making waves? We want to hear about them. Nominate them today.
Join us at Pride on June 4!
Join us on Sunday, June 4 as Doctors Manitoba staff and members participate in the 2023 Pride Parade to celebrate the diverse community that supports 2SLGBTQ+ people. Beginning at Memorial Park across from the Manitoba Legislature, Pride Winnipeg will be holding its pride rally. The parade will begin at 11am and the route will go down Portage Ave, and end at the Forks. We are inviting you, your friends and family to join us as we walk the parade route to celebrate and support the 2SLGBTQ+ community. The first 150 participants to arrive will receive a DRMB Pride t‑shirt to wear and take home. Register here.
Leadership & 2SLGBTQIA+ Health Panel Discussion
Please join us June 9 from 12:00 – 12:50pm for a panel discussion focused on Leadership & 2SLGBTQIA+ Health. Co-moderators Dr. Joss Reimer and Callum Barnes will lead a conversation with members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ Community who will speak from the roles of physician and medical learner. This panel discussion is a follow-up to Dr. Chronopolous’ session (view the recording here) and will build on the information in her talk.
Panelists are Dr. Blair Peters, one of the world’s first surgeons to complete a formal academic fellowship training in advanced gender-affirming surgery, Jules Perez, a medical learner who has held multiple EDI-related leadership positions, and Dr. Robert Obara, a family physician with a special interest in transgender health and passion for 2SLGBTQIA+ advocacy.
At the time of registration, there is an opportunity to submit questions you would like the panel to address related to medical leadership at the individual and system level. Moderators will develop panelist questions based on themes that emerge from the submissions. You can register and submit your questions here.
Using a person’s correct pronouns and sharing yours fosters an inclusive environment. Introductions with name and pronouns can happen in every setting, not just in 2SLGBTQ+* spaces. People can make assumptions about a person’s gender based on appearance or a name. The act of assuming (even if correct) sends a potentially harmful message — that people must look a certain way to demonstrate gender. Ignoring a person’s pronouns can also imply that transgender, nonbinary, or gender non-conforming people do not exist. Learn more about the importance of pronouns and order your complimentary pronoun ID Badge.
Safe Space Decals
Clinics and medical environments deemed Safe Spaces are important for the comfort, safety and inclusivity of patients and staff who identify as members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. We are helping members to create these inclusive spaces by offering complimentary‘safe space’ decals to display in your practice. Order your complimentary‘Safe Space’ window decal(s) for your clinic. (Maximum 5 per clinic.)
Health System Updates
Diagnostic Services – Transfusion Information
Transfusion and blood related information for Manitoba health-care providers has moved from bestbloodmanitoba.ca to Shared Health’s Manitoba health provider resource website healthproviders.sharedhealthmb.ca. You can find the new Transfusion Manitoba section under Services and Diagnostic Services. The revised pages have updated information including practices and guidelines as well as highlighted news and a resource library. Anyone visiting the old website bestbloodmanitoba.ca will be rerouted to the new pages.
All Clinical Communications can be found under Clinical Practice Changes for Health Providers.
Opioid Agonist Therapy Prescribers Practice Manual
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba (CPSM) launched the Manitoba Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT) Recommended Practice Manual today. With opioid deaths and overdoses rising, the manual is a tool to guide OAT prescribers in delivering life-saving treatment for individuals affected by Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). OUD is a chronic and potentially life-threatening illness that profoundly impacts all aspects of a person’s life. Fortunately, effective long-term treatment is more accessible than ever in Manitoba. The Recommended Practice Manual is the first of its kind. It was written by local experts and provides detailed guidance and expert recommendations for every aspect of OAT care. OAT treatment teams can include physicians, nurses, pharmacists, clinic managers, and allied health staff. With increased OAT prescribers and access points in the province, the manual serves as a roadmap, equipping prescribers with guidance to provide effective treatment and reduce harm at 28 access points in Winnipeg and 33 in rural and Northern Manitoba First Nations communities. The manual is available online at no cost. It can be downloaded as a whole, or each chapter can be downloaded individually. It is intended to be an online publication to permit more regular revision. It will be updated periodically as evidence and best practices in this field evolve. The manual also contributes to quality assurance in OAT practice, promotes collaboration among professionals and patients, and inspires continued growth of the OAT community in Manitoba.
Public Health MPox Update #6
Sporadic cases of mpox continue to be detected in Canada and globally. As of April 28, 2023, provinces and territories have publicly reported 1,484 cases, with only one confirmed case in Manitoba. Health care providers are advised to be vigilant and consider mpox when patients present with an unusual, unexplained rash and other clinical signs consistent with mpox (e.g. fever, headache, and/or lymphadenopathy), particularly in individuals who may have been exposed to someone with mpox. Health care providers are encouraged to consult infectious disease specialists when assessing a suspected mpox case. The communicable disease management protocol for mpox can accessed here.
EIA Disability Assessment Update
On April 1, 2023 the Manitoba government launched a new Disability Impact Assessment (DIA) form that replaces the former Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) Disability Assessment package. The DIA is used to determine eligibility for both Manitoba Supports for Persons with Disabilities and the EIA Medical Barriers to Full Employment category. Your patients may begin to bring the new DIA form to you to complete.
In order for the EIA program to track applications and related costs, as well as ensure the appropriateness of requesting medical information through a supportive conversation by EIA Counsellors with clients, all DIA packages will be issued by the Department of Families. There may be DIA or previous EIA medical assessment forms that have not originated from EIA offices (i.e. they may have been photocopied and shared by another party). They will not accept forms that were not provided by their staff. If you are being asked to complete a form and it is clearly photocopied, the patient is unfamiliar with the purpose of the form, and/or the form was not accompanied by a Statement of Account, the form may not have originated from an EIA office and should not be completed. Patients can contact their income support office or email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the proper form.
If you have any questions or concerns please direct them to email@example.com.
Provincial Health Leadership Program
The Provincial Health Leadership Program identifies and mentors future leaders in Manitoba’s health system. For over 10 years, we’ve provided opportunities for mid-career professionals in the Health Sciences faculties, Government of Manitoba, and healthcare system to hone critical skills, learn and engage with senior leaders, and prepare for leadership roles. This program pairs participants with current leaders in Manitoba’s health system or academic health sciences and guides them through the completion of a capstone project relevant to their workplace. In order to better meet leaders’ diverse learning needs, we are pleased to announce the PHLP will alternate annually between in-person and virtual learning. Join us in 2023 – 24 for a face-to- face experience or in 2024 – 25 virtually. Applications for the 2023 – 2024 class are currently being accepted. For more information on the 2023 – 2024 program, for info on the Capstone Project, or to access the current application form, please click here. Please submit applications to Viktoriya.Vasylkiv@umanitoba.ca. Deadline for application submission is June 16, 2023. Download the information poster here.
Y Winnipeg Offers Mental Health First Aid
Members of the Y Mental Health Services team have been certified as facilitators and have begun offering the course. The Y is committed to fostering the growth and development of people not just in body – but in mind and spirit as well. When you choose to take Mental Health First Aid with them, the funds are used to support community initiative programs such as no/low-cost memberships and mental health programming. Their mental health programs support people living with mental illness to build resilience and work toward personal mental health goals. There have been incredible outcomes with these programs including reduced anxiety, increased overall wellbeing and a sense of belonging.
Training in Mental Health First Aid is also available. The training course is designed to give members of the public the skills to help someone who is experiencing a decline in their mental well-being or mental health crisis. The evidence behind the program demonstrates that it builds mental health literacy, decreases stigmatizing attitudes, and helps individuals identify, understand, and respond to signs of declining mental health.
Read this document for additional program information and group pricing. Note: With a larger group the group price is a significant discount!
There is a public workshop scheduled for Thursday June 22nd 1 – 5pm and Thursday June 29th 1 – 5pm. You can enroll online using Active Net, simply create an account and register. Activity detail | Y Winnipeg Online Services (activecommunities.com)
Physician of the Week
Dr. Jacie Grobb, an emergency room physician at the Brandon Regional Health Centre, advocates for access to care for her patients — especially those in more rural areas. She thrives in the ED setting andappreciates “the problem-solving aspects, quick decision making, and the daily learning opportunities” it provides. Dr. Grobb values being able “to be a source of care and compassion for patients, sometimes on their worst day.” She is frustrated and disheartened when faced with a lack of resources to provide her patients with necessary care. With fewer rural physicians it is extremely difficult for patients to find family physicians and even more difficult to find specialist and subspecialist care. In the wake of the pandemic, Dr. Grobb believes that“a more cohesive and robust mental health system” is paramount to helping ease some of the strain on our health care system. Dr. Stacey Kitz, says she can always count on Dr. Grobb and feels “lucky to count her as both a colleague and a friend.”
2023 Doctors Manitoba Award Winners Celebrated
On Saturday May 13, we celebrated 9 incredible physicians at the 2023 Doctors Manitoba Awards Gala, generously sponsored by MD Financial and Scotiabank. With over 550 people in attendance, it surpassed last year’s attendance and now stands as the largest in-person event in Doctors Manitoba history.
The award winners accepted their honours with great humility and offered moving acceptance speeches. Their personal and professional stories were inspiring and their commitment to their patients and their colleagues was unquestionable.
This year’s winners include the following, each with a link to watch a short video about their accomplishments:
- Dr. Biniam Kidane — Medal of Excellence — Watch Dr. Kidane’s video.
- Dr. Courtney Leary — Medal of Excellence — Watch Dr. Leary’s video.
- Dr. Michael Loudon — Medal of Excellence Physician Wellness — Watch Dr. Loudon’s video.
- Dr. Katherine Kearns and Dr. Christina Raimondi — Medals of Excellence — Watch their award video.
- Dr. Ryan Zarychanski — Physician of the Year — Watch Dr. Zarychanski’s video.
- Dr. Tamara McColl — Humanitarian of the Year — Watch Dr. McColl’s video.
- Dr. Alwyn Gomez — Resident of the Year — Watch Dr. Gomez’s video.
- Dr. Maggie Morris — Distinguished Service — Watch Dr. Morris’ video.
Here are some of our top recent posts, in case you missed them:
- CME Rebate Applications Open: Members should have received a message with a link to apply for their 2022 Continuing Medical Education Rebate. If you should be eligible and have not received this message, please contact our benefits team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Free Press published an opinion piece from our new President, Dr. Michael Boroditsky, about the challenges in family medicine and the solutions we are advocating for. Read it here!
- Meet our new President, Dr. Michael Boroditsky, and his priorities for his year at the helm.
- DRMB and Province Agree on Additional Supports including free access to Cortext secure messaging and reimbursing physicians for the CPSM license fee for two years. Details on how to apply for both will follow shortly.
Events of Note
Drag Brunch Connection event for 2SLGBTQIA+ Physicians, Residents and Medical Students — Saturday June 17 10:30am or 1:00pm
Doctors Manitoba in partnership with members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ Student community would like to invite you to a connection event. Please join us on June 17th at either 10:30am or 1:00pm for one of two seatings for a Drag Brunch at Modern Electric Lunch! Don’t miss this opportunity to connect and network with other 2SLGBTQIA+ members of Doctors Manitoba. Seats are limited. Click here for more information and to register!
DRMB Book Club! The Doctors Manitoba Physician Health and Wellness committee is excited to invite you to an opportunity for building connection and community in medicine. Join us for the second virtual meeting of the Doctors Manitoba Book Club on Monday, June 12th from 7:00 – 8:30pm. We will be reading the 2023 Canada Reads Finalist“Greenwood” by Michael Christie. We are thrilled to announce the author will be joining our virtual book club for a Q+A. There will also be a chance for the group to discuss the book and share thoughts. Register now!
UofS Anti-Racism Speaker Series: The Intersections of Race, Faith, and Queerness — June 13 12 – 1pm
Samra Habib (they/them), a Queer Muslim writer, photographer and activist and author of the best-selling and award-winning book We Have Always Been Here, will deliver a 30-minute presentation discussing how to be a 2SLGBTQ+ ally year-round, beyond Pride month; why it was important for them to connect with their faith as a queer person; and their use of photography as an accessible language to talk about intersectionality. Questions are welcome during the 30-minute Q+A portion!All professionals, students and members of the community are invited to join us! Registration is free. Learn more and register here.