10/22/2014 11:04 EDT | Updated 12/22/2014 05:59 EST

Nova Scotia working to modernize fee structure for doctors: official

HALIFAX - The deputy minister of Nova Scotia's Health Department says it will take at least another two years to modernize the fee-code structure doctors use to bill for their services.

Peter Vaughn told the legislature's public accounts committee the fee schedule has not kept up with technological change and a project is ongoing to address that problem.

Vaughn says work that began a year ago will also help address fee monitoring problems flagged in a report released in May by the province's auditor general.

He says the goal is to find some savings while ensuring value for money spent for billed services.

Vaughn says the Health Department has tightened monitoring around services specifically set out in alternative payment plans for doctors since the auditor general's report.

The report said the department pays about $251 million per year to doctors under plans that are not fee-for-service, but didn't know if the contract requirements were being met.