Step-by-Step: How to Start Billing in BC

Tracy B.
Jul. 27, 2022
6-minute read

Preparing to start billing in BC as a new physician? We’ve taken the confusion out of the process with this 5-step guide. Here are the steps you need to take:

Step 1: Gain Licensure in BC

If you haven’t already, apply for your independent practice registration through physiciansapply. To start the process, choose “Application for Medical Registration.” The preliminary document you complete and submit here will be sent to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC (CPSBC).

The CPSBC will take approximately one week to review your application and confirm your eligibility. You will receive an email with a detailed request for documentation, including your degree, CV, references, ID and more.

Once you’ve sent the required documentation and the CPSBC has confirmed receipt, processing time for evaluating your credentials and granting your licence generally takes around 6 weeks.

Apply For Licensure

Step 2: Apply for Your MSP Billing Number (Practitioner & Payee Numbers)

Confusion over these numbers is common since your practitioner and payee numbers can be one in the same or two different numbers. Here’s how it works:

  1. Practitioner number
    This number stays with you throughout your career and identifies you as the physician who provides service. Your practitioner number is also what other physicians will use as your referring or consultant physician number.
  2. Payee number
    This number may start out identical to your practitioner number, but you may use multiple payee numbers throughout your career. Payee numbers identify the person or group to which payment is to be made.

You will receive both a practitioner and payee number when you apply for an MSP billing number. In most cases for new physicians, the practitioner and payee numbers are initially the same 5-digit number. However, there are several scenarios you may encounter throughout your career where you will require a different or additional payee number. For example:

  • You will need additional payee numbers if you bill at multiple locations (a single payee number can only be used to bill with a single billing service/EMR)
  • Your payee number will differ from your practitioner number when you designate a practitioner or group other than yourself to receive your MSP payments (E.G. in some locum or shared clinic payee number situations)
  • If you are not incorporating right away, you will apply for a new payee number once you incorporate

Apply For Practitioner & Payee Numbers

Step 3: Connect Your MSP Billing Number to a Billing Service

Once you have your practitioner and payee numbers, you will need to choose a billing service in order to submit claims to MSP.

Claims get submitted through Teleplan, so new physicians will complete a Teleplan Application (when receiving payments directly) or an Assignment of Payment Application (when designating payments for service to another party).

If you are choosing Dr.Bill as your billing service, you can complete and submit either document electronically. Simply create your Dr.Bill account and follow the prompts to choose the correct application. Then complete, sign and submit your e-documents.

If you are choosing another billing service, you can complete the correct forms for your situation and submit them by mail.

Sign up for Dr.Bill or See All Forms Online

Step 4: Set Up Direct Deposit

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

If you choose Dr.Bill as your billing service, you can complete and submit the MSP direct deposit form electronically from your account.

Other billing providers may or may not provide electronic direct deposit form submission. However, you can always mail your completed form to MSP.

Sign up for Dr.Bill or View Mailable Direct Deposit Form

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.

CMPA (Canadian Medical Protective Association) Coverage

Once you get your practice licence 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


Update your membership status with Doctors of BC, the CMA and any other professional groups you may belong to.

Specialty-Specific Requirements

Though rare, your specialty may require an additional step for billing. For example, general internists must contact the CPSBC for approval to bill GIM fee codes.

Helpful Resources

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

Medical Services Commission Fee Schedule

The Ultimate MSP Billing Guide

Searchable MSP Fee Codes Database

College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC

Common MSP Billing Mistakes (And How To Fix Them)

GPSC Billing How-To Video Series

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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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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This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by RBC Ventures Inc. or its affiliates.

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