WELL Health Applauds Regulatory Changes in British Columbia and Ontario designed to enhance funding for Doctors to support patients due to COVID-19 Pandemic
- This past weekend, The Minster of Health in Ontario made an order to temporarily provide coverage under the Province’s Health Insurance Act for the provisioning of healthcare consultations for insured Ontarians by mode of telephone or video, otherwise known as telehealth
- Yesterday, the Doctors of BC and the Government of BC agreed to billing rule changes that expanded the scope of the types of consultations that would be covered under the province’s existing telehealth fee code. The BC billing rule changes also enacted modifications that enhanced support for doctors who provide in-person care by temporarily suspending volume limits.
- Meanwhile, WELL Health is rapidly ramping up its VirtualClinic+ telehealth program to its 20 corporate owned clinics and its Electronic Medical Records (EMR) network of over 1500 clinics.
Vancouver, BC, March 17, 2020 - WELL Health Technologies Corp. (TSX: WELL) (the “Company” or “WELL”), a company focused on consolidating and modernizing clinical and digital assets within the primary healthcare sector, applauds the regulatory actions that support doctors and patients in both provinces of Ontario and British Columbia amidst the escalating requirements for health services in both provinces due to COVID-19.
On March 13, 2020, The Minister of Health in Ontario made an order under the authority of subsection 45(2.1) of the Health Insurance Act to temporarily list as insured services the provisioning of healthcare services by telephone or video via temporary fee codes administered by OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan). The insured services include the delivery of psychotherapy, primary mental health care and/or counselling services. These fee codes came into effect on March 14, 2020.
Yesterday, the Doctors of BC and the Government of BC agreed to and disclosed billing rule changes that provided important support to doctors practicing both telehealth and traditional in-person care for outpatient clinics. As a result of the changes, doctors can now provide care via telephone and receive insurance coverage under the province’s existing telehealth fee code. The changes also included a suspension on General Practice daily limits that affect in-clinic care.
“We are very encouraged to see the quick and decisive actions by government health officials in both BC and Ontario to support doctors and patients” said Dr. Michael Frankel, Chief Medical Officer of WELL Health. “These changes will undoubtedly make a difference in helping the healthcare system meet the anomalous demand and circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic”
WELL is also pleased to announce that it has almost fully enabled all WELL owned and operated clinics with VirtualClinic+, WELL’s own innovative telehealth program. WELL clinics can now not only support in-clinic traffic but also care for patients outside of clinic walls when appropriate to support health officials’ social distancing directives to the greatest extent possible.
“WELL’s own clinics now effectively function as ‘Clicks and Mortar’ clinics”, said Hamed Shahbazi, WELL’s Founder and CEO, “We have activated a sophisticated combination of in-person and virtual care at WELL’s own clinics through the implementation of VirtualClinic+. We are now actively rolling out these same upgrades to our substantial 1500 clinic strong EMR customer base. We know they need telehealth and we want to be there for them.”
WELL HEALTH TECHNOLOGIES CORP.
Per: “Hamed Shahbazi”
Chief Executive Officer, Chairman and Director
WELL is a unique company that operates Primary Healthcare Facilities, is the third largest digital Electronic Medical Records (EMR) supplier in Canada and is a provider of telehealth services. WELL owns and operates 20 medical clinics, provides digital EMR software and services to 1,446 medical clinics across Canada, and is a majority owner of SleepWorks Medical. WELL's overarching objective is to empower doctors to provide the best and most advanced care possible while leveraging the latest trends in digital health. WELL is an acquisitive company that has completed nine acquisitions and one equity investment. WELL is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "WELL.T". WELL was recognized as a TSX Venture 50 Company three years in a row in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
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Pardeep S. Sangha
VP Corporate Strategy and Investor Relations