Shared care makes sense in many situations, and we are expert at facilitating this process.
You and your patients might choose optional shared care with us for the following reasons:
- Working together helps us provide the best care for expectant mothers and newborns. You know your patients and their families well. We are involved in medical education in the fields of women’s reproductive health and newborn care. Our combined expertise works to the benefit of expectant mothers and their babies.
- Our specialized care relieves your busy practice but enables you to retain and support your patients. Shared care allows you to care for your patients during this important time, so you need not feel that you are losing them even if you do not provide intrapartum care. It allows your patients to maintain the important connection they have to you and your practice.
- We have extensive experience in the provision of shared care. If you don’t usually do shared care, we can support you to allow you to do so. We make it a priority to be available to referring doctors, answering their questions and facilitating the care of shared patients when needed. We have found that being available to our colleagues is a great way to discover the challenges of providing maternal and newborn care in the community.
- Shared care might make sense for practical reasons. Perhaps an expectant mother lives closer to your office than to ours, or vice versa. We don’t want to burden patients with travel unnecessarily.
Still, shared care isn’t for everyone. Some physicians are not interested in or not able to participate, and we fully understand. Perhaps you focus on sports medicine as well as family health, or maybe the demands of your practice mean that you have limited time. Some patients also prefer to come to us for full care, either for logistical reasons (e.g., they work downtown) or because of personal preference.
Whatever the reason, if shared care isn’t for you and your patient, we are happy to do full care.
We love seeing pregnant patients, so providing full care is no hardship for us. Finally, in certain circumstances, the complexity of the case makes full care more appropriate for the patient.
Billing Issues for FHO and FHT Physicians
Family Health Organization (FHO) and Family Health Team (FHT) doctors might be interested in how billing works during shared care.
We constitute a Family Health Group (FHG), and, unfortunately, family doctors practicing obstetrics don’t have special status for billing purposes. However, almost all visits are billed using payment codes that fall outside those usually used by FHO or FHT physicians. This means shared care will not affect billing at your practice.
Also, we will send your patients and their babies back to you postpartum. Occasionally, we must see the mom after the delivery, and, of course, cannot bill using an obstetrical code. However, we strive to limit the use of codes that could affect your practice, and we guarantee these codes are used only when patient care demands we do so.