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Welcome to the Alberta Medical Association’s Section News – an opportunity for sections to report on their challenges  and objectives. This service helps sections communicate with all AMA members as well as physicians in their own specialties. Your feedback is encouraged. Please contact Agnes E. McIntyre, Administrative Assistant, Section Services: T 780.482.2626; TF 1.800.272.9680; email

June 2013

Section of Laboratory Physicians Dr. Garnet Horne, President  Alberta Medical Association Section of Laboratory Physicians (ASLP) annual general meeting (AGM) All Alberta pathologists and pathology residents are invited to attend the ASLP AGM on Friday, August 30, from 12–1:45 p.m. at the Fairmont Banff Springs in Banff. This ASLP AGM is held in conjunction with the 2013 University of Alberta/University of Calgary Banff Pathology Course – Genitourinary Pathology. The online registration and up-to-date course information for the 2013 Banff Pathology Course – Genitourinary Pathology has been completed and posted, including information for the ASLP AGM.

 Request ASLP Executive Committee Member Nominations The upcoming ASLP AGM on August 30 will include elections for ASLP Executive Committee members. Available positions include: • President-elect • Secretary Treasurer • Member-at-large (Calgary) • Member-at-large (Edmonton) • Member-at-large (Rural)

Please forward your nominations to Amanda Lacombe, Administrative Assistant, Section Services, AMA ( by Wednesday, July 31. Please consider participation on the ASLP Executive Committee.

Section of General Practice Dr. Ann R. Vaidya, President T 403.873.2352/F 403.873.2364  Election results The Section of General Practice (SGP) election for three additional members of the Executive Committee took place by mail-in ballot. The following physicians were elected: • Dr. Kathryn L. Andrusky • Dr. Allan L. Bailey • Dr. Michael P. Poitras Their terms will begin after the SGP annual general meeting in September.

 SGP Executive meeting The meeting was held at the beginning of June in Edmonton. Highlights of the meeting include: • Section membership: We concluded a membership drive. I’d like to thank everyone who recently joined our section. Your section

membership dues fund a wide range of work, from dealing with allocation increases to the Physician Services Budget to influencing the direction of negotiations. Strategic retreat: The annual meeting will take place in November. If SGP members have any issues/concerns they would like to have addressed, please email Nella Papaianni, General Practice Liaison Manager at Allocation: We continue to monitor general practice fees. Although there will be no allocation under the new agreement this year, we have started discussion for subsequent years of the agreement. Dr. Peter C. Jamieson continues as the SGP fees representative. The SGP Executive encourages family physicians to forward their fee concerns to Ms Papaianni at GP alternate funding initiative: A working group reporting to SGP was created to develop/ investigate an alternate funding model for primary care. This initiative is still in the early planning stages, but stay tuned for more details. Family care clinics announcement: Earlier this month, government announced that 24 communities would get family care clinics (FCC). Some of the communities include: Calgary, Edmonton, High Level, High Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Peace River. More information about the announcement is available on the government website. More information about FCCs is also available on Alberta Health website. If you are interested in joining an FCC, information about things to consider is available on the AMA website. Teleconferences for physicians in the 24 communities were held June 17 and 18. PCA Board-related updates (see the PCA Board submission for further details): ○ Primary Care Summit: The second summit was held in Calgary on June 1. Alberta Minister of Health Fred Horne attended. ○ PCN 2.0: The primary care framework paper was presented to the minister of health and it was well received. Many working groups have been created to move forward

Alberta Medical Association

on implementing this paper and they will report to the PCN 2.0 Steering Committee. I strongly encourage physicians to get involved and stay informed as we move this project forward. ○ Alberta Health Services (AHS)/AMA Primary Care Council: The council is a forum for community primary care physicians and AHS to ensure there are appropriate linkages between Strategic Clinical Networks and primary care. This will help ensure continuity of patient care. Dr. Vaidya will be the AMA representative on this committee.

 Changes to POSP As of March 31, 2014, Physician Office System Program (POSP) electronic medical record (EMR) implementation support and services will end. However, Alberta Health (AH) and the AMA have reached an agreement that provides for continued but limited VCUR 2008 EMR deployments in 2013: • VCUR 2008 funding support and services will continue for eligible enrolees up to the maximum funding amount of $35,000 or to March 31, 2019. • VCUR 2006 funding support ends March 31, 2014; invoice deadlines apply. Further to this announcement, AH and the AMA have agreed to extend deadlines to allow physicians more time to react to these changes. • Funding-confirmed, signed VCUR 2008 contracts and forms must be submitted by October 15, 2013. • The VCUR 2008 electronic medical record (EMR) must be live and in use by January 31, 2014. • VCUR 2006 hardware invoices must be submitted by August 15, 2013. To learn more about these changes and the deadlines for VCUR 2006 invoice submissions, please visit the POSP website.


June 2013 Section News

Section of Rural Medicine Dr. Tobias N.M. Gelber, President

if you have any suggestions or concerns about this, we would really like to hear them to get some feedback and direction from our rural members.

 Tarrant Scholarship

Primary Care Alliance

The deadline for the Tarrant Scholarship was May 6. The Section of Rural Medicine (SRM) received almost 30 applications. The executive committee will meet over the summer to select the recipients and the award ceremony will take place this fall.

◊ Section of General Practice Dr. Ann R. Vaidya, President T 403.873.2352/F 403.873.2364 ◊ Section of Rural Medicine Dr. Tobias N.M. Gelber (Chair), President ◊ PCN Leads Executive Dr. Phillip W. van der Merwe, Chair

 GP alternate funding initiative SRM is working with the SGP on this initiative (see the SGP submission above).

 Family care clinics The SRM Executive is aware of the recent government announcement regarding the creation of 24 additional family care clinics (FCC). We want to hear from you any concerns you may have about what this means to your community. We also would like to hear from you if you feel you should have been chosen as a site for an FCC but weren’t. There are still many unanswered questions surrounding FCCs and we want to ensure that the interests of the rural docs that are impacted by these clinics are represented. So far, we know that the announcement has only provided an opportunity for the named communities to apply for an FCC. This is very different than stating that an FCC will go there. There are many details to be worked out, especially in the rural communities, and we want to assist with the process.

The PCA issues a joint Section News submission about issues affecting general practitioners. Please send any comments and feedback on this submission to Linda A. Ertman (Program Coordinator, Practice Management Program) at  Progress on the Primary Care Framework What is PCN 2.0? You may want to know more about the term PCN 2.0 means. Earlier this year, Health Minister Fred Horne met with the PCA Board to discuss improving primary care networks (PCNs). While he believes PCNs have been beneficial, he also sees a wide variation in the functioning, efficiency and efficacy of the 41 PCNs in the province.

 Primary Care Alliance Board-related activities As chair of the Primary Care Alliance (PCA) Board, I strongly encourage rural physicians to stay informed and get involved in PCA activities. Many of the projects PCA is undertaking will affect the primary care environment and it is important that issues impacting rural communities are brought forward. Currently, our activities have largely revolved around developing PCN 2.0. I sent an email about this last week. If you have questions or concerns about what this is or where it is heading, we would really like to hear from you.

The minister recognized the good aspects of all PCNs, but wants PCNs to perform to higher standards and with more uniformity. Minister Horne introduced the term PCN 2.0 to signify this PCN evolution. “Evolving Primary Care Networks in Alberta” Last week, the PCA Board/PCN Evolution Steering Committee presented a PCN 2.0 paper, “Evolving Primary Care Networks in Alberta,” to Minister Horne.

Another project we are starting to look at is an OPTION for a different method of payment for primary care physicians. This would be a choice and not mandatory. We are looking at different models and how this could look on a provincial scale. Again, Alberta Medical Association

The PCA Board/PCN Evolution Steering Committee includes members from the PCA Board, PCN Physician Leads Executive, Alberta Health (AH) and Alberta Health Services (AHS).


June 2013 Section News

The paper gives:

Primary Care Summit 2 - June 1, Calgary The Alberta Medical Association and PCA hosted a Primary Care Summit on June 1 in Calgary to hear from patients and physicians about how to improve the delivery of primary care. This was the second in a series of exciting public engagement summits for the AMA.

• A brief history of PCNs. • A vision and the principles of what enhanced PCNs could look like (and lists ways to achieve that vision). The paper also includes principles on how to structure PCN 2.0, but the real work on how to operationalize it will come from seven working groups that are currently being formed. Each of these groups will include three to five physicians, AH member(s) and possibly AHS members.

The summit was well attended with 55 patients, 20 physicians and other health care observers. Dr. Michael Giuffre, President of the AMA, delivered the opening address. Minister of Health Fred Horne was also a guest speaker at the summit.

• Read “Evolving Primary Care Networks in Alberta” (login required to read this document on the AMA website).

Physicians and patients participated in focus groups to discuss:

During the next 12 months, the seven working groups will explore and make recommendations in the following areas:

• • • •

• Formal attachment: Linking patients to their family physicians. • Accreditation: Standards and requirements for PCN 2.0. • PCN funding: Aligning PCN funding with the way care is delivered. • Governance: Who makes decisions, how they are made and resolving disputes. • Enhancing team collaboration: Making teams better and stronger. • PCN services: What’s in the PCN 2.0 basket of services? • Transition planning and change management: Getting to PCN 2.0 one clinic at a time.

Patient voice. Formal attachment. Community engagement in health care. The AMA patient benchmarking study.

Feedback gathered from the summit will be reviewed and analyzed by the AMA to help shape the evolution of primary health care in Alberta. Future summits are being considered for later this fall.

PCN Physician Leads Forum Future forum dates are: • October 18-19 - Delta Bow Valley, Calgary • March 7-8, 2014 - Edmonton • October 3-4, 2014 - Calgary For questions about upcoming forums, please contact Erika Serek at 403.205.2081 or erika.serek@

Please watch for emails from Dr. Tobias Gelber (Chair, PCA Board) with updates on the evolution of PCNs. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Linda Ertman at

Alberta Medical Association


June 2013 Section News

Section News June 2013  

Section News provides an opportunity for Alberta Medical Association (AMA) member sections to report on their challenges and objectives. The...

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