A membership-based family practice like Bing MD aims to fill in gaps in the existing family doctor experience. Most family doctors in Alberta have very large practices that can exceed 1,500 patients for a full time doctor. This means you don't get personalized attention, and seeing your doctor for a non-urgent issue can take upwards of 1-2 weeks. Even simple issues like a prescription refill can mean waiting several days.
By charging a membership fee for patients, Bing MD can maintain a much smaller practice, giving each patient a personalized experience. You get direct email access to your doctor, and you can even request refills of many prescriptions by email. You get longer appointments that start on time, and don't feel rushed.
Bing MD can provide you with these and many other services that Alberta Health Coverage doesn't pay for, so that you get convenience, great service and timely care.
Here are some of the benefits you get with your membership:
- Direct email access to your doctor (answered within 1 business day)
- Appointments that aren’t rushed and start on time
- Extended phone/virtual appointments (Alberta Health only covers phone visits up to 15 minutes for non-mental health concerns)
- Email renewal of prescriptions (except controlled medications)
- No charge for forms or doctor’s notes
- No charge for late canceled or missed appointments
- No charge for onsite bloodwork (available starting summer 2022)
- A premium subscription to the AVA Connect App to book your own appointments online and follow your test results
You can cancel your membership at anytime. If you're paying monthly, you'll stop paying with the next monthly billing cycle. If you're paying annually, you'll get a prorated refund of your membership fees for the remaining number of full months.
Yes! Bing is a fully trained family doctor who can see men, women, children and gender non-binary individuals. Bing also has training in taking care of elderly patients and the membership program is an especially great fit for older patients who need extra time. Bing can provide a written printed summary of everything discussed during your appointment on request, so you don't forget what the plan was.
The Complete Medical Assessment is an optional assessment for all new patients joining Bing's practice, and may be done by non-members as a one-time assessment who don't otherwise want to become Bing's patient.
The Complete Medical Assessment involves a thorough review of your entire medical history, medications and past blood work and other investigations. It also involves a thorough physical exam and a full panel of blood work to assess your current health status. Based on your concerns and test results, we will come up with a written health assessment and health improvement plan for the upcoming year.
It's getting harder to find a family doctor in many parts of Alberta, and Bing MD's virtual and email services can be a great fit for people living in smaller centers in Alberta. As long as you live in Alberta and can occasionally make a trip to Calgary when needed for things like your annual check-up, Bing can be your doctor.
You can keep your current doctor and Bing MD can complement the care you already get from your family doctor. Some patients choose to join Bing MD in order to benefit from Bing's experience with anti-aging treatments such as metformin or statin therapy. Others may want the convenience of a doctor they can reach by email or text on short notice.
If you like your existing doctor, you can keep seeing them in addition to being a patient of Bing MD. Most doctor's offices require you to make at least one visit per year in order to stay active as a patient there.
Yes, membership fees are generally tax deductible for Canadian residents. Bing MD's membership fees are considered a "block fee." As per the Canada Revenue Agency's website:
"an amount paid to a medical clinic that can reasonably be considered a prepayment of services that are to be provided over the course of the year and are actually provided in that year (block fees) will generally be an eligible medical expense."
If you having a health spending account, you can also submit Bing MD's fees for reimbursement, if block fees are covered.
After paying your membership fees online, you'll automatically receive an invoice that outlines the membership fees as a "block fee" and what services are included.