Is the OMA an appropriate vehicle for negotiating doctors’ fees?

Is the OMA an appropriate vehicle for negotiating doctors' fees?

In the wake of the recent agreement between the Government of Ontario and the Ontario Medical Association, it is time to reevaluate the appropriateness of the OMA as the bargaining agent for Ontario physicians. I will spend most of this opinion piece using ophthalmology as an example since that is the specialty that I practice.

Why the tentative agreement is the right deal for Ontario’s doctors

Doug Weir blogger ontario medical association

The Ontario Medical Association and Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care have reached a tentative Physician Services Agreement. So what does this mean for doctors and patients, and the Ontario health care system? In contemplating this question, I thought I might impart a recent personal experience that provides some context to consider not only the

“Re-chartering” The OMA/government relationship

Steven Barret Healthy Debate Blogger

An Assessment Of The New Agreement On Negotiation And Representation Rights  As readers know, the OMA and Government have now, subject to OMA ratification, resolved their differences over fees and money, entering into a new two year Physician Services Agreement. I will leave to others the task of assessing whether the Agreement will truly result

Cutting doctor’s fees: penny wise, but pound foolish

As a recent ophthalmology and retina surgery graduate, I was shocked by the dramatic unilateral healthcare cuts announced in May. This left me with a poor first impression of the relationship between the health care profession and government. Although the OMA and government are back at the bargaining table, I am concerned that the best

Did the OMA go too far with its childhood obesity recommendations?

Yoni Freedhoff healthydebate blogger

The uproar has been furious. Literally. And I certainly understand why. But it’s not because the Ontario Medial Association (OMA) went too far, it’s because the OMA lost control of the message. For readers who aren’t aware, on Tuesday the OMA held a press conference where they outlined multiple initiatives that they hope if enacted,

The false dichotomy of fee cuts

Kathy Hardill healthydebate blogger

Recently I had a discussion with some physician colleagues about the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) campaign and specifically the principle of communicating non-neutral, political information to our patients. The campaign to which I am referring is that seeking to solicit the support of Ontario patients for physicians who are trying to get the government back

Patients lose in showdown between doctors and ministry

The current negotiation process between the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) is deeply flawed. Currently, the negotiations focus primarily on physician pay and not on the best interests of the patients. The broader issue lies not in the details of which physician services received fee cuts and by how much,

Unchartered waters: bad faith bargaining or responsible government?

Steven Barret Healthy Debate Blogger

On June 12, 2012, the OMA announced its intention to launch a constitutional challenge to the Ontario Government’s decision to reduce physician fees for 37 procedures and services. No doubt the OMA’s decision to attempt to shift the locus of its dispute with the government from the bargaining table to the courts was motivated by

Standoff with Ontario’s docs may hold back broader health reforms

Changes to the fee structure of Ontario’s Docs are stoking a fiery dispute between the Ontario government and physicians. But the current standoff takes the momentum out of physician-centred reforms with durable opportunities for cost savings in the health sector – such as having doctors commission care on behalf of their patients. Getting better value

Healthcare cuts: lessons from pharmacy

John Greiss Healthy Debate blogger

If I harm a pt by making poor surgical decision for which evid was available to guide me;there is recourse. How is gov’t different? #onpoli — Dr. Shady Ashamalla (@AshamallaMD) June 1, 2012 Evidence-based policy. For those of us in the healthcare field, it resonates as an ideal. What better way to allocate resources than

Perspective on payment negotiation for Ontario’s doctors

The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) and Ministry of Health and Long Term Care negotiate fee schedules on a four year basis.  This year, the process has garnered a great deal of attention as negotiations broke down, and the Ministry of Health unilaterally imposed fee reductions in some areas.  Understanding the history of bargaining between doctors

Fear and the politics of medicine

I’d like to talk to you a little bit about fear. As many who visit this site are no doubt aware, the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) and the provincial government are in the midst of a fee dispute.  The government has decreed that the total physician services budget will be frozen.  This means that physicians

Punishing all self-referral is not the solution

Irfan Dhalla blog editor

If I were a respirologist, I would receive many referrals from family doctors asking me to determine whether patients with shortness of breath have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. I would take a history from each patient and conduct a physical examination. Depending on the situation, I might occasionally order some blood tests or

Ontario’s dust-up over doctor’s fees

The public squabble between the Ontario Medical Association and the Ontario government about tweaking physician payments is to be expected: no one likes cuts to their income.  But in this case the cuts are concentrated in a few sub-specialties, so the pain is concentrated, prompting a particularly loud response. So what’s it about?  There’s an

Making sense of Ontario’s fee codes

Most of Ontario’s doctors bill the Ontario Health Insurance Plan for their services on a “fee for service” basis. The amount doctors are paid for each service is established through negotiations between the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Ontario Medical Association. Although fees are reviewed every few years, there is disagreement about