| Practice Sharing
Practice sharing is the linking of billing numbers of one or more physicians in a particular region who wish to share a practice.
Physicians interested in sharing an existing or new practice must receive approval from their Regional Health Authority. Physicians must sign an agreement that their combined billing will not exceed a pre-set amount and should this occur, they will allow New Brunswick Medicare to recover the over expenditure. Payments to the shared practice are monitored and reconciled on a quarterly basis; any over expenditure is recovered in the subsequent quarter.
Once the Regional Health Authority has approved the arrangement, the physicians involved must advise New Brunswick Medicare, in writing, of their intentions at least thirty (30) days prior to the start of the new arrangement.
Physicians may cancel at any time, however a new physician(s) who joined an existing full-time practice will only be able to go into a full-time private practice if the Regional Health Authority has identified a vacant position in their region. The existing physician may return to his/her full-time practice or resume the sharing of a practice with another physician.
To accommodate both existing and new physicians, two scenarios have been developed. The scenarios have been written to reflect cases where two physicians could share a practice, however it would also be acceptable if more than two physicians signed an agreement to share a practice and the same rules would apply.
SCENARIO A: A physician who currently has a full-time practice wishes to share the practice with a new physician.
The physicians are required to link their numbers and will be allowed to bill up to the amount earned by the existing physician using the average of the three best years of the last five years or the income budgeted for a new physician – whichever is greater. However, the practice in question must have at least 0.8 of a full-time equivalence (FTE) to qualify for this arrangement.
SCENARIO B: Two physicians who have not yet established a practice in a region would like to do so and share the practice.
If the position against which they will be counted is a new funded position for the region, then the physicians sharing the practice will not bill higher than the upper benchmark value for their specialty.
If the position against which they will be counted is a replacement position, then the physicians sharing the practice will be allowed to bill up to the amount earned by the previous physician, using the average of the three best years of the last five years or the income budgeted for a new physician - whichever is greater. However, the practice in question must have at least 0.8 of an FTE to qualify for this arrangement.
These scenarios require a fee-for-service remuneration.