Regional Services is the regional funding of management and delivery of health care services. The program area enables funding to flow to the health authorities, which in turn are responsible for the delivery of health care services.
Exhibit 5 shows the breakdown of Regional Services expenditures incurred in 2011/12.
MEDICAL SERVICES PLAN
The Medical Services Plan (MSP) is a publicly funded program of the Ministry of Health that pays for medical and supplementary health care services on behalf of British Columbia’s residents. The program area pays physicians and supplementary health care practitioners in chiropractic, physical therapy, massage therapy, podiatry, dentistry, naturopathy and optometry. In most respects, MSP is a fee-for-service funding model where physicans and supplementary health care practitioners are paid per service provided.
All British Columbia residents contribute payments (called premiums) to the plan according to their income level.
During 2011/12, $3.8 billion was spent on MSP. Since 2008/09, this amount has steadily increased year over year (see Exhibit 6).
Each year, the MSP program area prepares a budget based on historical spending trends, and any known upcoming changes (e.g. new agreements with physicians). The budget is reviewed by the ministry’s finance area in making budget allocation decisions. This review occurs before the health authority budgets are considered, although the MSP allocation for a given year will be revisited if the health authority amount is found to be insufficient.
FUNDING OF PHYSICIANS AND SUPPLEMENTARY HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONERS
In 2011/12, a total of $3.8 billion was paid to physicians and supplementary health care practitioners. This represents nearly 25 per cent of the health care expenditures incurred by the Ministry of Health in the last fiscal year.
Exhibit 7 outlines the categories included under "Supplementary Health Care Practitioners" along with the total amounts paid to each group in 2011/12.
As negotiated with the BC Medical Association and outlined in the Physician Master Agreement, the Ministry of Health uses four funding models to fund physicians: Fee-for- Service, Alternative Payment Program, Medical On-Call Availability Program and Rural Programs. Each model is explained on page 16. Supplementary health care professionals, such as massage therapists, are funded through the Fee-For-Service model, which as mentioned on the previous page is facilitated through MSP.
Exhibit 8 illustrates the amount paid to fund each of the models over the past four years.
The following chart demonstrates the flow of funding to physicians and other health care practitioners.