SGIMBC Member Newsletter – Winter 2022

In this edition:

  • Summary of SGIM 2021 Activities
  • Annual General Meetings
  • Retro Payment Update
  • GIM Leadership Award Nominations
  • Audit & Inspection Committee
  • CME Sessions
  • Practice Updates
  • Membership Survey
  • Fee Code Updates

Summary of SGIM 2021 Activities

The Society of General Internal Medicine of BC holds a leadership role on behalf of all general internists across the province, whether in academic, community, urban, or rural centres. Over the last tumultuous year the SGIM has worked on to contribute to the careers of general internists across the province.

Click here to read the full summary

Dr. Sharry Kahlon | SGIMBC
Doctor in scrubs and mask

Annual General Meetings

2022 SGIMBC Annual General Meeting: To be held on Saturday October 22, 2022 in Vancouver, BC for a full day (there will be a video conference option). Further details will be posted and emailed to members as they are confirmed. Please ensure your email address on file is up to date.

2021 SGIMBC Annual General Meeting: Held on Saturday, December 4th from 9 am to 4 pm via Zoom (due to COVID 19 restrictions ). SGIMBC business was reported on and discussed. In addition, three CME presentations were very well received. Further details (CME recordings, meeting minutes, financial reports) can be found via the link below.

Click here for further information

Retro Payment Update

We are happy to inform the membership that due to the Executive Committee’s ongoing advocacy on behalf of SGIM, we have all recently received a significant payment. You should have noticed it on the October 15th, 2021 remittance.

These funds were awarded to GIM as part of the Specialty Disparity Fund Adjudication to compensate for our relative underfunding compared with other specialists in BC. The increase was applied (retroactively from Feb 2017 – Mar 2019) to the 311/32271 as it was the only permanent GIM-exclusive code. Moving forward, the Executive Committee will be working to add increases to other GIM codes (ie. 32210, 32208, 32212, etc). However, this is not yet possible as most are still provisional.

We look forward to your continued support as we further advocate for all GIM specialists to get paid what we deserve.

Click here to view additional Billing Tips

GIM Leadership Awards Nominations

The SGIMBC continues to endeavour to recognize general internists across the province who are taking leadership roles in their health authority or in the province. We are all stronger when the voice of general internists is “at the table”. For 2022 we have modified our awards to better acknowledge the breadth of leadership possibilities for GIM.

Nominations are due by 11:59pm PST on June 21st, 2022.

Click here to find out how to apply


Group of General Internists

Audit & Inspection Committee Candidates

The Audit and Inspection Committee (AIC), in conjunction with the Audit and Investigations Branch of the Ministry of Health, is looking for Medical Inspector (MI) candidates. 

Audits can be unbelievably stressful for everyone involved – this is all the more reason to ensure they are conducted fairly by someone that is familiar with our speciality and workflow. The Audit and Inspection Committee needs more GIM representation among Medical Inspectors in the unfortunate case of an audit of one of our members.

As a society, we strongly advise you to consider applying to the below posting if you have the time and interest, to ensure that GIMs are evaluated by other GIMs. You will be compensated for your time as a medical inspector and your knowledge of our unique position in the healthcare system will be invaluable to everyone involved.

Candidates must:

  • Have a minimum of five years’ experience in the applicable specialty
  • Be an active registrant with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC (CPSBC)
  • Have practices which are consistent with the patterns of billing in the practitioner’s section
  • Be supportive of the policies and principles of the Patterns of Practice Committee and licensing body
  • Be able to exercise sound judgment
  • Have an understanding and knowledge of the MSC Payment Schedule
  • Not be subject to circumstances which could give rise to a conflict of interest
  • Have a minimum of three years’ experience billing fee for service in BC


  • MIs are paid an hourly rate derived from the hourly equivalent of the Doctors of BC’s sessional rate for Family Physicians or Specialists.
  • MIs also receive compensation for eligible travel expenses.

Questions and applications should be sent to:
Tara Hamilton (Senior Advisor, Audit and Billing)

Click here to read further details

Doctor holding a clipboard

CME Sessions

On December 4th, 2021 the SGIMBC was excited to host three CME Sessions via Zoom for the membership.

The topics included:
1. Complex Chronic Disease: Chronic Fatigue, lead by Dr. Stephane Voyer
2. Human Resources, lead by Andrea McFarlane from AMAC Consulting
3. GIM Billing Tips and How to Avoid an Audit, lead by Dr. Paul Hertz

Please let the SGIM Executive know if you found these valuable and if you would be open to more CME sessions throughout the year.

Click here to view Session recordings

Practice Updates

Dapagliflozin is now Pharmacare covered for heart failure with a reduced ejection fraction.

Paxlovid is now more widely available for outpatients with COVID-19. More information can be found here

Click here for Government of Canada details

Membership Survey

At the AGM, we conducted a survey to get a better sense of our membership demographics and practice patterns as well as determine strategic priorities moving forward.  You can find the summarized and annotated results of the surveys at the link below.

 The Executive has used this information to set the following 2022 objectives:

  1. Update fee codes to improve compensation (see Fee Code Updates).
  2. Improve public education surrounding who we are and what we do (includes the           general (lay) public as well as referring physicians (with a focus on Family                         Physicians).

Click here to review Member Survey Report

Society of General Internal Medicine of BC

Fee Code Updates

We continue to advocate for appropriate compensation for the high-value work that we all do.  There remains significant disparity among sections (specialties) and SGIM will continue to work tirelessly to ensure you are all paid what you deserve.

Our current focus (based on the priorities outlined above) is adjusting the limitations on complex follow-ups (32307 and 32308) and reinstating the 2-system complex fee code.  Making changes to the MSP Fee Schedule is a complex and slow process.  We will do our best to keep you updated throughout the process.

Working with the Tariff Committee, we have also created a clearer and more succinct definition of the 4th year of GIM training (used to determine who has access to our complex fee codes).  This will prevent non-GIM specialists from billing our codes and inappropriate using the funds that have been specifically set aside for us.

A 4th year of GIM training is defined as:

  1. If Canadian Trained: a completed 4th year (or plus 1 year) of Internal Medicine training under a Canadian GIM or IM program.
  2. If Internationally Trained: a completed 4th year (or plus 1 year) of IM or GIM training must include the following – 1 month inpatient internal medicine (specifically junior attending/leading an inpatient team), 2 months of community internal medicine (with a General Internist), 1 month cardiology, 1 month critical care and 2 month ambulatory.