Diagnostic Services

Outpatient diagnostic services are provided in approved facilities in both community and hospital settings.  A diagnostic facility is defined as “a facility, place or office principally equipped for prescribed diagnostic services, studies or procedures, and includes any branches of a diagnostic facility.”

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Diagnostic Facilities Administration

Diagnostic Facilities Administration supports the application process for new, expansion and relocation of publicly-owned and privately-owned outpatient diagnostic facilities through the Advisory Committee on Diagnostic Facilities (ACDF), a committee of the Medical Services Commission (MSC).

As of May 1, 2018, responsibility for the complete Assignment of Payment (AOP) process for outpatient diagnostic medicine facilities will be moving to Health Insurance BC.   The AOP process links medical practitioners to an MSC/ACDF approved facility, for the purpose of billing BC’s Medical Services Plan for outpatient diagnostic services.  For more information, please see Assignment Of Payment page for further details.

Diagnostic Service Modalities

The following modalities, within the Medical Services Commission’s Payment Schedule, have been deemed ‘restricted.’  Any facility that wishes to provide and bill BC’s Medical Services Plan for these services requires approval from the Advisory Committee on Diagnostic Facilities or the Medical Services Commission.  The restricted diagnostic modalities include:

  • diagnostic radiology 
  • diagnostic ultrasound (including TTE & TEE) 
  • nuclear medicine scanning 
  • polysomnography 
  • pulmonary function 
  • electromyography (EMG) 
  • electroencephalography (EEG) 

For information on laboratory services including the Laboratory Services Payment Schedule; Schedules of Benefits for Referring Practitioners; Facility Approval Applications; and Operator Payment Administration forms, please see:  www.gov.bc.ca/laboratoryservices.

Advisory Committee on Diagnostic Facilities

The Advisory Committee on Diagnostic Facilities is a committee of the Medical Services Commission that provides advice, assistance, and recommendations to support the Medical Services Commission’s powers, duties, and functions in relation to outpatient diagnostic services and facilities.

Any publicly or privately-owned diagnostic facility in British Columbia intending to bill BC’s Medical Services Plan for outpatient services, must first apply for a new, relocation, or expansion Certificate of Approval.

Policies and Guidelines

Assignment of Payment 

As of May 1, 2018, Health Insurance BC is responsible for full approval and processing of Diagnostic Services’ Assignment of Payment (AOP) forms.

AOP forms are legal documents by which an attending practitioner designates his/her fee-for-service payments to another party (generally, their employer) in order to bill the Medical Service Plan for approved services.  Once a facility receives Committee approval, AOP forms must be submitted to allow payment for the approved services.

Payment Schedule, Categories, and Fee Items

Payment to approved diagnostic facilities is on a fee-for-service basis and is facilitated through the Diagnostic Services Assignment of Payment process.

Doctors of BC/Ministry of Health Requisition Committee

The Doctors of BC and the Ministry of Health Working Committee to Review Standard Outpatient Requisition Forms and Related Issues (Requisition Committee) is a joint committee that provides oversight for the development and maintenance of standard outpatient requisitions for insured diagnostic services in accordance with regulatory requirements. Final approval of standard outpatient requisition forms rests with the Medical Services Commission.