Academic Alternative Relationship Plans

An Academic Alternative Relationship Plan (Academic ARP) is a funding arrangement with physicians who teach or research at Alberta universities or medical facilities.

Alberta physicians earn money by billing the government for patient visits or fee for service. If they donít bill for patient visits they donít earn any money. Fee for service has discouraged some physicians from dedicating time and energy to research and teaching because they need to focus on their practice. Academic ARPs guarantee payment for physicians so that they can be compensated for all these activities.

Academic ARPs have been successful in:

  • Attracting and retaining needed specialists to the province;
  • Supporting innovative clinical practice; and
  • Enhancing the quality of Albertaís medical education and research.

The funding models of Academic ARPs are designed to insure physicians are compensated in a manner which takes into account their contributions to the four pillars of an Academic ARP:

  1. Clinical service and innovation;
  2. Education;
  3. Research; and†
  4. Administration.

Academic ARPs are inclusive agreements that engage all relevant stakeholders including but not limited to: the involved university and faculty of medicine, the participating physicians, Alberta Health and Wellness, Alberta Health Services, the Alberta Medical Association, and other funding bodies and related ministries.

The process to create an Academic ARP begins by contacting Alberta Health Services and is followed by the submission of a Letter of Intent. The prospective program then begins the process of creating a program proposal which includes a service delivery plan, governance and accountability measures and both a budget and a workforce plan. The Academic Medicine Unit reviews and performs a budget analysis on the proposal for approval by the Deputy Minister.†Next, the†Academic Medicine Unit drafts the Legal and Conditional Grant agreements for the implementation of the program.

Alberta budgeted $229 million for Academic ARPs in 2010/11 and $274 million was forecast for 2011/12. The budget for 2013/14 has yet to be determined.