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Step-By-Step: How to Start Billing in Alberta

Tracy B.
Aug. 24, 2022
5-minute read

Preparing to start billing in Alberta as a new physician? We’ve taken the confusion out of the process with this step-by-step guide. Here are the steps you need to take:

Step 1: Get your Alberta Medical Practice Permit

If you haven’t already, apply for your practice permit through physiciansapply. To start the process, choose “Application for Medical Registration” and then “AB - Review of Qualifications.” 

Permit approval is a multi-part process completed by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA). Once you begin the process in physiciansapply, you will be guided through the information and documentation requirements and receive confirmation emails at each step. The CPSA provides an excellent guide on the registration process as well as the fees you can expect to pay.

Apply For a Practice Permit

Step 2: Apply for Your Alberta Practitioner ID

All practicing physicians in Alberta require a Practitioner Identification Number (Pract ID#). This 9-digit number registers you with Alberta Health and is what your colleagues will use as your referring and consultant practitioner number.  

To complete this step, you will need to fill out a Prac ID application form and email it to health.pracforms@gov.ab.ca.

Apply For a Practitioner ID

Step 3: Apply for Your Business Arrangement (BA) Number 

All practitioners registered with Alberta Health must have a BA Number in order to submit claims for reimbursement. 

When you sign up for Dr.Bill, you can complete and submit the BA application form electronically right through us. 

If you apply for your BA number outside of Dr.Bill, download and complete the Business Arrangement and Relationships Application form and email it to health.pracforms@gov.ab.ca

BA Numbers for Locums

Most Alberta locums apply for a BA in the manner described above—obtaining their own fee-for-service BA number and choosing their own billing service to use.

In some instances, depending on the payment arrangement you have with your host/clinic, you may require a Locum BA number. If a Locum BA number is needed, you can fill out the same form above and check off the Locum BA number option.

Step 4: Set Up Direct Deposit

When you apply for your BA Number (Step 3), you will be setting up direct deposit at the same time.

Ensure you have opened a business (versus personal) bank account for your AHCIP payments prior to setting up direct deposit. Keep in mind that banks often offer fee waivers, rebates, and other benefits specifically for healthcare professionals opening business bank accounts.

If you’re applying for a new BA Number through Dr.Bill, we will also facilitate setting up direct deposit by requesting a void cheque from you to send in with the BA request form. Outside of Dr.Bill, simply attach a void cheque when applying for your BA Number.

Step 5: Secure Other Memberships and Privileges

Remember that ensuring all other registrations are completed in a timely manner is critical to uninterrupted billing, including,

Hospital Privileges

  • Apply directly through the hospital where you intend to work or care for your hospital inpatients. You will be required to provide various documents, including a copy of your medical licence, proof of insurance and CV.

Update CMPA (Canadian Medical Protective Association) Coverage

  • Once you get your practice permit and have a job and work address, you must update your CMPA coverage to reflect your new status. If you are transitioning from postgraduate training to practice, you can defer payment of CMPA membership fees for up to 6 months. 

Worker’s Compensation

  • Upon receiving your practice permit, you may wish to proactively sign up for a myWCB account. This account allows you to submit reports and invoices through WCB when you treat patients who have been injured at work.

Helpful Resources

Find the forms, codes and best practices you need to start billing successfully:

Contact Us For Help

Questions? We’re experts in helping new physicians connect credentials and check all the boxes to get started billing. Contact us for support and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

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How to Apply for Your Alberta Health Practitioner Number & Business Arrangement (BA) Number

Related Blog

In order to submit Alberta Health claims and get reimbursed for your services, you need to have an Alberta Health Practitioner number and a Business Arrangement (BA) number. You cannot submit claims to AHCIP without having both of these numbers.

Tracy is a seasoned senior-level content writer and full time team member at Dr.Bill. By staying closely connected to the needs of Canadian healthcare professionals, she creates to-the-point content that helps physicians manage their medical billing and their practices better.
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