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N.B. reduces administrative burden for physicians

By Brad Perry Jun 10, 2024 | 6:02 AM

New Brunswick is taking steps to reduce the administrative burden for doctors whose patients receive social development benefits.

Changes have been made to a number of forms that require physician involvement, the province announced last week, which include:

  • Removing physician involvement in three instances
  • Expanding authorization to medical professionals other than a physician in nine instances
  • Streamlining forms and processes in 15 instances
  • Reducing or removing renewal requirements in 13 instances

Social Development Minister Jill Green said the changes will give physicians more time to focus on seeing patients.

“Doctors have plenty on their plates and we are pleased to work with the New Brunswick Medical Society to take away some of the administrative burden of filling out forms,” Green said in a news release.

Dr. Paula Keating, president of the society, said reducing the amount of paperwork physicians have to complete is invaluable.

The province also announced changes to encourage more doctors to join the Family Medicine New Brunswick (FMNB) collaborative practice model.

That includes eliminating deductions in pay to practices when one of their patients visit a walk-in clinic and allowing practices to use other electronic medical record systems instead of just one.

“Addressing these issues is one more concrete way that we are making improvements. We are already seeing the impact of the changes we have made,” said Health Minister Bruce Fitch.

Other changes recently made include updates to compensation models for physicians, such as enhancements for physicians who provide services outside daytime hours and on weekends; greater support for hiring nurses; and relief payments to help with practice-related overhead costs.

Fitch said those changes have helped in the number of FMNB groups growing to 11 from seven, with more physicians expressing interest.