The Personal Health Risk Assessment Incentive (14066)

The As part of a strengthened provincial strategy for and investment in prevention, the new GPSC Personal Health Risk Assessment fee came into effect in January 2011.

This incentive compensates physicians for care of patients in four target populations─those who:

  • Smoke
  • Are obese
  • Are inactive
  • Have unhealthy eating habits

This fee is payable to the general or family practitioner who undertakes a Personal Health Risk Assessment with a patient belonging to one of these target groups, either as part of proactive care or in response to a request for preventive care from the patient.

In a face-to-face visit with the patient or patient’s medical representative, the physician recommends age- and sex-specific targeted clinical preventive actions consistent with GPAC Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease Primary Prevention Guidelines and the BC Lifetime Prevention Schedule.

To support sustained change in a patient’s behavior, these recommendations should be partnered with access to community services, such as nutritional and exercise programs, counseling, or support. Incorporating patient self-management tools into patient care is also recommended.

The Personal Health Risk Assessment fee replaces the initial prevention incentive that focused narrowly on cardiovascular risk assessment.


Focused, but not restricted

While the Personal Health Risk Assessment fee is focused on treatment of patients in these four at-risk populations, it is also intended to compensate the general or family practitioner for taking the time to review a spectrum of prevention issues, not just the behavior or condition that puts a patient into one or more of the targeted populations.

Recommended subjects to consider are listed in the BC Lifetime Prevention Schedule.

For example, when talking to a smoker I would address his or her smoking but would also discuss other relevant issues, such as mammography/Pap screening, colorectal cancer screening, recommended immunizations, etc.  I would also address recreational use of substances, including alcohol.


From prevention to treatment – Related GPSC incentives

When alcohol or other substance use becomes a larger issue, it is a medical problem.

Both alcohol dependency and substance abuse (non-nicotine) qualify as Axis I diagnoses (DSM-IV codes 303 and 304, respectively) and, as such, support for intervention in both cases is delivered through the GPSC Mental Health incentives, provided that the other requirements for billing this fee have been met.

─Dr Bill Cavers
Family physician and GPSC co-chair


Click here to see the Doctors of BC paper Partners in Prevention: Implementing a Lifetime Prevention Plan