In order to submit Alberta Health claims and get reimbursed for your services, you need to have an Alberta Health Practitioner number and a Business Arrangement (BA) number.
Follow along with this article to make sure you apply for both numbers with the correct forms. Here’s a glimpse of everything we cover:
The Difference between your Alberta Health Practitioner Number & your BA Number
In our experience there’s a lot of confusion around practitioner numbers and BA numbers – especially when first starting out. These are two separate numbers, one that identifies you as a doctor and the other one that strictly has to do with billing and submitting claims to Alberta Health.
So which is which? Your Alberta Health Practitioner number identifies you as a doctor and your BA business number tells Alberta Health where to send payment for claims submitted under that number. Your BA number is what you connect to a billing service so that they can bulk submit claims for you.
Getting these two numbers generally takes around 2 weeks so once you have your independent practice license and a job lined up, apply for this.
For a list of common questions about Alberta Health billing number check out our Q&A below.
How to Get Your Alberta Health Practitioner Number (Prac. ID#)
All practicing physicians require a Practitioner Identification Number (Prac. ID#). Having a Prac. ID is what registers you with Alberta Health and is also the number that colleagues will use as your referring practitioner number. This number never changes and will follow you throughout your career.
In order to apply you need to fill out and send the following forms to Alberta Health.
The Practitioner Information form (AHC0912): Fill this form out if you’re going to submit claims under your own name. This is likely the case unless you are a locum or submitting claims through your clinic’s id (see below).
TIP: On the form, fill out ‘section E’ if you know what billing company you’re going to use. By doing this now you won’t need to fill out a BA application later on. If you’re not sure yet, then just leave it blank. When you do know who you’re billing with then fill out a BA application (see below).
The Organization Information (AHC0911): Fill this form out if your payments will be made through someone else (i.e., a Professional Corporation or a Clinic Name).
Mailing Address for Alberta Health:
Alberta Health Professional and Facility Management
Unit PO Box 1360
Station Main Edmonton
AB T5J 2N3
Once Alberta Health processes your application you’ll receive a letter in the mail containing your new Prac. ID. Depending on the time of year, they can take up to 2 weeks.
How to Apply for Your Alberta Health Business Arrangement (BA) Number
In order to start submitting claims to Alberta Health you need to have a Business Arrangement (BA) number. A BA number simply tells Alberta Health where to send payment for claims submitted under that number.
TIP: When you apply for your Prac ID, if you know who you are going to be billing with then you can fill out section E on the application and be assigned a BA number when you get your Prac ID.
When you sign up for a billing service generally they should help you submit these forms. For example, if you’re billing with Dr. Bill we will send you the correct forms to fill out electronically.
Otherwise, if you are submitting a BA on your own, download, print and fill out the following form:
Mail your application to:
Alberta Health Professional and Facility Management
Unit PO Box 1360
Station Main Edmonton
AB T5J 2N3T.
Setting Up Direct Deposit
To set up direct deposit, simply attach a void cheque when applying for your business arrangement number.
For a complete guide on how to submit claims for refurbishment in Alberta check out our Alberta Health Billing Guide.
Already have an unattached BA number?
If you already have a BA number and are just switching submitters (billing services), you need to fill out a client submitter form with your billing service in order to make them the authorized submitter for that BA number.
Fill out the Client Submitter Form »
**if billing with Dr. Bill we’ll send this form electronically for you.
Along with your BA/submitter application don’t forget to send your billing software a void cheque to set up direct deposit.
How to Use/Set up your Incorporated BA Number
If you have a corporation you would still fill out a business arrangement number and attach a void cheque for your corporation.
If you are switching billing services then you’d fill out a submitter form in order to authorize the new billing service with your old BA number. (However, usually it’s easier to just fill out a new BA form anytime you switch services. If you’re not sure double check with your billing company).
Business Arrangement Numbers for Locums
As a locum there are two common ways to submit your billings, 1) using your own billing system or 2) using the clinic’s billing system of choice.
1). On Your Own
If you’re going to be submitting claims on your own then you need to apply for your own BA number, as indicated above. You then use that number for every where you end up locuming.
2). Through the Clinic
If you’re locuming at a clinic it’s possible that they might have their own billing system that they’d prefer you use. If this is the case then you’d need a Locum BA.
A Locum BA doesn’t have a submitter (a.k.a. a billing service) attached to them so the number can be used by different submitters (not just one billing service).
If you’re using a Locum BA then you submit claims through the clinic’s BA (or through the BA of the physician you’re covering). Your clinic should provide you with the forms and details to apply.
That being said, the first option is generally more common as most Alberta locums get their own BA number and choose their own billing service to use.
Common Alberta Health Billing Questions
1. Does my Alberta Health New Practitioner Registration & BA Business Number stay the same throughout my career?
Yes and no. Your Alberta Health New Practitioner Registration will always be the same.
As for your BA number, it will stay the same as long as you’re using one billing software (for example Dr. Bill). However, if for some reason you used two different billing softwares – for example you used Dr. Bill for your hospital work but for your office you used the billing option provided, then you’d need two BA numbers.
The purpose of the BA number is to identify:
who is being paid
where the statements will be sent
which submitter (billing software) is authorized to submit claims for that BA
2. Will getting a second BA number affect my other billings?
ou apply for an additional BA payment number there will be no impact on your other billings. Remember this just tells Alberta Health who is submitting your claims.
3. I’m changing from my previous biller to Dr. Bill. What form do I need?
If you already have a BA number and want to attach it to Dr. Bill then fill out a submitter form above. This will attach your old BA number to us.
4. Can I sign up for Dr. Bill with my practitioner number?
You need to have an Alberta Health billing number in order to submit claims to AHCIP. However, if you want to sign up for Dr. Bill before you graduate, or before you have your Alberta Health practitioner number, you can create a fake number (ex. 123456789) and then change it once your electronic applications have been approved.
5. I have a BA number that I was using for clinic work, 123456789. I haven’t used that number in a few years, can I connect it to Dr. Bill?
Yes, you can connect it by filling out a submitter form instead of a BA request.
6. Is it okay to have some billings sent in through Dr. Bill and others through the office I work at?
Yes, but you need to use two different BA numbers. If you’re running two parallel billing systems, you can only use one BA number for each billing service/EMR system. A BA number just tells AHCIP where the claims are coming from.
If you have any questions about what form you need, get in touch with our team, we can help!
Once you do get set up and start billing, check out these 7 AHCIP billing tips and reminders to make sure you’re submitting claims correctly.
This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by RBC Ventures Inc. or its affiliates.
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