Rural Retention Program

Rural Retention Program (RRP) benefits are paid to physicians working in eligible communities covered under the Rural Practice Subsidiary Agreement  (RSA). The incentive program was designed to enhance the supply and stability of physicians in RSA communities.

The Program

A physician’s individual premium is determined by the number of isolation points assigned to his or her community: 30% of medical isolation points are paid as a flat fee amount, while the remaining 70% are paid as a fee-for-service premium. Physicians who are paid by a method other than fee-for-service will receive a retention payment equivalent to the fee-for-service premium, and the flat fee sum. Physicians must meet eligibility requirements in order to qualify for the flat fee sum.

Isolation point ratings are based on a number of factors including the number of physicians in the community and the distance of the community from a major medical community. The Joint Standing Committee administers the RRP and determines the value of retention premiums. RSA communities must have a minimum of 6.0 isolation points to qualify for retention payments.

If a physician lives in a RSA community but practices in a different RSA community, he or she will receive the fee premium and flat sum premium for the community in which he or she practices.

For communities without a resident physician, or with a vacancy, the total isolation points will be applied as a fee premium, to a maximum of 30%.

The fee-for-service premium is automatically paid as long as the Service Clarification Code of the community where the service is provided is on the Medical Services Plan (MSP) claim.

Eligibility

• Physicians must reside and practice in an eligible RSA community for at least nine months per year.

• Physicians must bill equal to or greater than $65,000 in the previous calendar year.

For information on physician services and communities eligible for the rural retention initiative, and details on the medical isolation point rating system, see the Rural Retention Program Policy Framework (PDF, 411KB). To find information on premiums and flat fees, see Rural Practice Subsidiary Agreement Community Designation & Rural Retention Program Point List (PDF, 14KB).