Nova Scotia’s deputy health minister has shed new light on a dispute between the province and 27 radiologists, including the fact a "couple of million dollars" are at stake in what he alleges was "potentially inappropriate" billing.
"When you have concerns raised, I owe it to the taxpayer to make sure it was reviewed," Kevin McNamara said after appearing before a legislature committee.
McNamara has filed a complaint with Nova Scotia's College of Physicians and Surgeons on how the fee code was used for certain CT procedures by radiologists in four provincial health districts.
The disputed billing goes back two or more years and spread from one district to another.
McNamara said he has filed two previous complaints with the college that are unrelated to the radiologists. He is awaiting a resolution of those disputes.
"When concerns are raised, there’s different ways I can go at it. I can refer it to the RCMP, I can go through Medavie Blue Cross for a review," he said. "I don't have a guilty plea. I'm not saying they are all wrong, but it had to be reviewed and the best body to review it for me was the college."
The Nova Scotia Association of Radiologists said McNamara is overreacting. The group has asked the health minister to withdraw the complaint.
"The College may review it and may say that it’s appropriate and that's acceptable," McNamara said.
The disciplinary body declined to comment on the complaint when it was revealed by CBC News last week.