Hello Deca,

 

Your last posting looked like it was messed up: can you recheck and send again. 

 

Here is what I understand about the current billing codes in Ontario.  A family doctor being approached about a suspicious lesion would bill under their basic all encompassing patient consult code, and would refer the patient to a dermatologist.  The dermatologist would first bill under a patient exam code, then there might be follow-on billing for an actual biopsy procedure.  The lab doing the examination of the tissue sample has a separate billing code for that work.  Here is the issue.  If a dermatologist makes use of an Aura machine to help them complete their assessment of a patient they will receive no extra funds for the work; its all part of the consultation.  The financial benefit will be derived if they can complete the examination in half the time it used to take using other methods, and doing twice as many examinations as before for double the billed amount.  This is what happened with cataract procedures and why we have eye doctors making $1 million or more a year in gross billings whereas they used to only be able to generate half that amount.  What used to be a 1 hour plus procedure is now completed in 20 minutes, but there has been no change in the amount OHIP pays.

 

My best case scenario for the Aura is to have it deployed in labs and a scan handled like a blood test; ordered by the family doctor and completed by the lab, with results being returned to the family doctor prior to a referal to a dermatologist.  The labs would be reimbursed by OHIP for each scan performed, and a single lab could provide Aura scanning services to the doctors in an entire community, as they do for blood work or x-rays.

 

What do others think?