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Bulletin Number



May 16, 2003

Direct inquiries to

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Processing Office

(See Address Below)

Physicians, Hospitals, Clinics and Laboratories


Fees for Telephone Services During the S.A.R.S Emergency.

In consultation with the Ontario Medical Association, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is introducing three new fee schedule codes on a time limited basis to the Physician Schedule of Benefits effective April 1, 2003 in response to the current Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (S.A.R.S.) emergency. These codes will allow physicians to receive fee-for-service payments for telephone services provided under certain specific circumstances. These include if either the physician or the patient is under quarantine or isolation or if a physical encounter between a physician and patient could not occur as scheduled at a hospital or out-patient clinic due to the S.A.R.S. emergency.

The following text will be inserted on page lii of the General Preamble section of the Schedule of Benefits:

32. Telephone Services in Response to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

“applicable period” has the same meaning as “applicable period” in the SARS Assistance and Recovery Strategy Act, 2003.

Despite any requirement in this Schedule or Regulation 552 under the Health Insurance Act that:

(a) a direct physical encounter occur between the physician and the patient, or
(b) that a concomitant insured service accompany the provision of a prescription or communication or
     advice rendered by telephone to a patient,

the services described below as K080, K081 and K082 are insured during the applicable period when the following conditions are met:

1. the service is rendered by a physician other than one who is compensated for rendering insured
    services to that patient, in whole or in part, by any alternative payment plan or as part of any
    primary care reform initiative;