We would like to provide a progress update regarding our private sector initiative to improve recognition and reimbursement for Family Medicine as a specialist discipline.
The SA Academy of Family Physicians (SAAFP) has sent out email communications and surveys to our members to establish your needs and expectations regarding this topic.
- Dr Sheena Mathew has been conducting numerous discussions with a managed healthcare organization, Healthman, to engage on behalf of the SAAFP with the medical aids and Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF).
- A 2nd email survey was done amongst private family physicians to get a comprehensive understanding of the challenges being faced in the private sector.
- The SAAFP Exco/admin and Dr Sheena Mathew had a meeting with Healthman to discuss the task at hand and review their proposal.
- Healthman has proposed a 6-month free trial period to facilitate discussions with BHF to address current confusion regarding 015 practice code, which currently is also housing GP practices.
- In order to better understand the Family Physician scope of practice to create family physician specific tariff codes, Healthman will be analyzing current Family Physician specialist practices.
- Once these matters have been addressed, the focus will be on having discussions with the top medical aids regarding appropriate specialist reimbursement for our discipline.
The SAAFP annual congress this year will also be featuring topics that focus on private practice management.Once the 6-month free trial period is over Healthman (www.healthman.co.za) will charge SAAFP a monthly fee for their services. Our goals are to clarify the registration of specialist family physicians with BHF and to ensure that medical schemes then recognise the scope of practice and give appropriate remuneration. We also want to tackle the registration of GP practices to allow a mix of specialist family physicians and other general practitioners. In order for SAAFP to commit to a longer term relationship with Healthman on your behalf we need feedback from you on:
- Are you willing to provide SAAFP with your registration details and participate in this process?
- Are you willing to pay an additional annual fee of R1-2000 (depending on how many members sign up) in order for SAAFP to pay Healthman for their services on your behalf?
In the likelihood that Healthman’s negotiations results in specialist reimbursement rates, this fee can be easily recouped. Healthman only contracts with organisations such as SAAFP to represent their members, and not individuals.
Please click on this link to submit your response to the two questions above.