New Funding Model Pilot for Family Physicians


A new funding model for family physicians is designed to encourage more team-based care and make it easier for patients to get the care they need, when and where they need it.

Doctors Nova Scotia and the government worked together to develop the new model, which will be piloted in several family medicine practices.

“Competitive compensation is essential to recruiting and retaining physicians who will care for Nova Scotians,” said Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson. “This funding model aims to better support family physicians and improve patient access to care. We are excited to partner with Doctors Nova Scotia and look forward to seeing how this model can help us achieve these goals.

The payment model, called blended capitation, will pay family doctors based on the number of patients they have and the number of services they provide. Physicians may also receive a bonus for ensuring their patients can receive timely care. Currently, family physicians are paid on a fee-for-service or contract basis.

Under the new model, doctors in a clinic work together to care for patients in the practice, so if one doctor is absent or unavailable, another can provide care. This means more appointments could be available same day or next day, evenings and weekends, improving access for patients.

Participating family physicians will continue to be paid under their current payment model, but at the end of the pilot period, they will receive a top-up if they earned more under the new model.

The pilot project is expected to last at least until March 2023.


With an aging and sicker population, patient care today is much more complex and billing codes have not evolved to accurately reflect the work of physicians. This pilot project will test and inform a new payment model, which aims to make it easier for family physicians to provide the care their patients need.
Dr Leisha Hawker, President, Nova Scotia Doctors

My colleagues and I are excited to participate in this pilot program, and we look forward to seeing how this new model can further improve patient access to our team of healthcare providers.
Dr Holly Zwicker, Family doctor, High Tantallon

Fast facts:

  • the new funding model will be piloted immediately in practices in Chéticamp, New Minas and Upper Tantallon; several more practices may be added to the pilot in the coming weeks
  • 2019 framework agreement between province and Doctors Nova Scotia provides $7.3 million to pay physicians under blended capitation pilot program
  • Doctors Nova Scotia is the professional association representing physicians in the province



Back to top button