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Why Ontario is reducing doctors’ payments for one-off virtual appointments.

Updated: Mar 4, 2023

And what it could mean for your health care

The Ontario Medical Association calls the rise of virtual medicine during the pandemic a success story. So why have they agreed to cut payments to doctors for one-off virtual visits?

The provincial government and the Ontario Medical Association have agreed to decrease payments to doctors for one-off virtual appointments — a move meant to stem the tide of virtual-only clinics and encourage doctors to provide comprehensive ongoing care to patients.

The one-off virtual visits will be paid at a reduced rate of $15 to $20 when the “physician renders a service to a patient where there is not an existing patient-physician relationship,” according to the Physician Services Agreement. The changes to the fee codes were supposed to be in effect as of Oct. 1, but were put off until Dec.1 because the OHIP computer system changes needed to enable the virtual care framework were not completed in time, according to the OMA.



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