Uptake of the Heart Failure Management Incentive Billing Code by Family Physicians in Ontario, Canada: A Retrospective Cohort Study
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In 2008, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) implemented an incentive payment, Q050A billing code, to family physicians for provision of comprehensive guideline-based care for patients with heart failure in the community. Our objective was to report on the uptake of this program from fiscal years 2008-2014. We determined the numbers of claims billed per year and the proportion of eligible patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) for whom a physician billed. The code was billed by 10.4% of all family physicians in 2008-2009, which increased to 15.1% in 2014-2015. The code was claimed for 4.1% of all identified patients with CHF in 2008-2009 and 5.9% of patients with CHF in 2014-2015. Given these findings, it is estimated that MOHLTC paid an additional CAD$10,118,514 to family physicians managing patients with CHF. This is the first study to examine the uptake of a CHF-specific incentive program, which will help to inform health policy makers in implementing such programs in Ontario.