Ontario government announces review of medical audit system

Archived Release

Ontario government announces review of medical audit system

Ministry of Health

Former Supreme Court Justice Peter Cory will head up review TORONTO, April 7 - The Ontario Government today announced that it has appointed former Supreme Court Justice Peter Cory to review Ontario's medical audit system and make recommendations about its future design. The review will be completed within a year. "Physicians have said for a number of years that the audit process needs to be easier, faster and more transparent. We have heard those concerns and we are acting by conducting a thorough, arms-length review of the audit system including the way the Medical Review Committee works," said Health and Long- Term Care Minister George Smitherman. "We're determined to expedite the review so that we can identify and address any issues as quickly as possible." The purpose of the medical audit process is to ensure the accuracy of physicians' claims to OHIP. The Medical Review Committee (MRC) is an important part of that process. This independent body examines physicians' billings when there is a disagreement between the physician and the General Manager of OHIP about the accuracy of those claims. The MRC recommends actions to the government, which can include recovering fees that have been improperly billed. Justice Peter Cory retired from the Supreme Court in 1999. He is a distinguished international jurist and was recently appointed the 11th Chancellor of York University. In 2002, he was appointed Commissioner by the governments of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland to investigate six controversial murder cases involving alleged collusion by security forces in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republican Army. "We are privileged to have Justice Cory lead the review. We are confident that he will bring the same kind of fair and balanced approach to this review that has characterized his entire career," said Smitherman. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), and the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) have been working together over the last few years to improve the medical audit and MRC's processes and practices. They have made important improvements including tightening the timelines for the medical audit review process so that cases are resolved more quickly, and working to make the committee membership more representative. The government also changed regulations to reduce costs to doctors who go through the MRC process. The OMA and ministry are working together to better educate physicians about the OHIP billing process. "We need checks and balances in our medical claims system to protect against improper billing practices," said Smitherman. "We also need to ensure that the improved audit process is fair and accountable to the people of Ontario, physicians and the government." This news release is available on our website at: http://www.health.gov.on.ca Version fran├žaise disponibleFor further information: Members of the media: Eva Lannon, Minister's Office, (416) 327-4320; Members of the general public: (416) 327-4327, or (800) 268-1154