There is a high probability that the OMA and MOHLTC are far apart in the ongoing negotiations, and that this impasse will lead to arbitration. What the arbitration panel decides could have far reaching implications. There is real concern that should the panel decide in favour of MDs, that the Liberal government will simply legislate away our right for arbitration.
2017 is now past and we look forward to the future.
KHC has undergone major transformations in 2017 with medical, technical and nursing staff. I believe we have reached an equilibrium which should allow KHC to provide consistent, prompt, high quality cardiology services well into the future.
There are, however, some significant difficulties to negotiate,
There is little feedback regarding the OHIP fee negotiations between the OMA and the MOHLTC. I remain very concerned about our ability to absorb any further cardiology fee cuts. In fact, I believe all of Ontario’s MDs have been subsidizing Ontarians’ healthcare for a decade now and this has to cease.
The MOHLTC OHIP fee reductions since 2008 and the MOHLTC unilateral OHIP fee reductions since 2012 have had a major impact on our ability to provide cardiology services and indeed, our very existence. There are some services we have dropped completely, as too costly because of the low OHIP fees, and other services which we have deliberately restricted for the same reason. The days of KHC being able to provide all outpatient cardiology services irrespective of the OHIP fee paid are long gone. We used to rationalize that the low fees were tolerable because we could make up the difference with the better compensated fees. That rationale no longer exists.
Since 2008 there have been some major fee reductions, ECG: $16.59 to $10.56, (-36%). PAD testing: $158.60 to $39.94, (-74%). Carotid imaging: $124.20 to $76.15, (-39%). Also since 2015 there has been a 25% reduction in all ECHO and Nuclear professional fees and a 7% reduction in technical OHIP fees for those services. To these OHIP fee reductions one can add the monthly 4.5% across the board “clawback” reduction in all OHIP fees payed by the MOHLTC which has been in place since 2016. This monthly 4.5% clawback results in $498,000,000.00 in free annual services provided by Ontario MDs. There is no other group of professionals who would put up with this sort of financial penalty?
KHC/KHCNVL is pleased to announce the following new appointments.
Dr. Gerry Adams joined KHC in September 2017. Dr Adams announced his partial retirement from Queens University recently. After 25 years as a highly respected cardiologist and skilled interventional cardiology career at KGH Dr. Adams has chosen to continue his career as a general cardiologist at KHC. We are indeed very fortunate to have Gerry join our team. Gerry will continue to provide interventional cardiology services at KGH on a weekly basis.
Dr. Marbin Cases has been at KHC since September 2016. Dr. Cases completed her cardiology training at Queens Univesity and followed up with a fellowship in echocardiography. Dr. Cases is now a level 3 trained ECHO cardiologist. Her expertise will allow KHC to continue to provide quality ECHO services well into the future.
Dr. Jeffrey Wilkinson has now joined KHC. Dr. Wilkinson completed his cardiology fellowship at Queen's university at the end of June, 2017. As well as providing general cardiology and level 2 ECHO services, Dr. Wilkinson also has extra training in cardiac nuclear imaging and has passed the American boards in Nuclear cardiology. For the first time in 2 years we will have a nuclear cardiologist on site. Dr. Barette has provided excellent nuclear cardiology services remotely from Belleville and will continue to do so along with Dr. Wilkinson. Dr Barette is also KHC's nuclear cardiology QA advisor.
Dr. Ursula Jurt has now left her clinical practice in Kingston but will continue to provide ECHO reading services remotely. Her patients' ongoing care will be absorbed by the other Cardiologists.
Dr. Brouillard continues with his Rheumatology and Internal medicine practice.
Dr. Matangi will continue with his general cardiology practice and focus on expanding both vascular imaging and clinical research.
The future of KHC is now in secure hands.