Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT) Clinic Fees

​​​Effective February 1st, 2019 private clinics can directly bill First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) for opioid agonist therapy (OAT) clinic fee costs charged to people in BC with First Nations status. The process is outlined below.

If you are an OAT service provider:

1. Complete the OAT clinic subsidy application fo​rm with your client. Please obtain the client's signature on the application form for all services delivered.

2. Prepare a service invoice each month and indicate “Bill to: First Nations Health Authority" on the invoice. FNHA will not process invoices that do not indicate this field.

3. Email the completed application form and the service invoice to oatclinicfees@fnha.ca or fax to 604-666-3867.

4. FNHA will confirm the applicant's First Nations status and approve the service provider on an individual client basis.

5. Once FNHA has approved a client, the service provider must send a client-signed application form and a service invoice every month to continue subsidization through FNHA. In recognition that services may now be provided via telehealth in response to precautions related to COVID-19, the provider can fill in the locations (city or Nation) of the client and the provider in place of where we would typically require a client’s signature on the invoice.​

If you are a First Nations person living in BC:

1. Book an appointment with an OAT clinic. A list of clinics can be found here.

2. Your service provider will complete a subsidy application form with you and obtain your signature.

3. Your service provider will submit the required documentation to FNHA and you will be considered for OAT subsidization once your First Nations status is confirmed.

4. Once you are approved by FNHA, you must sign off on the documentation sent to FNHA every month​.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is opioid agonist therapy (OAT)?

Opioid agonist therapy (OAT) is an effective treatment for people dependent on different types of opioids such as heroin, oxycodone, and fentanyl. The therapy involves medications such as Methadone or Suboxone. These medications prevent the effects of withdrawal and reduce cravings for opioids. 

How can I access OAT?

OAT is prescribed by a doctor and can be accessed through public service providers, private clinics, and residential or outpatient treatment programs.

Who pays for OAT services?

When you access OAT through a public service provider, the cost of treatment is covered by the Medical Services Plan (MSP). OAT services that are provided through private clinics may charge a monthly fee for their programs and these fees are not covered by MSP.

What is the maximum amount a clinic can bill FNHA for OAT services?

Clinics can invoice FNHA up to a maximum of $70/month per client for OAT clinic fees.

How long will FNHA reimburse private clinics for OAT clinic fees? Is there an end date for this initiative?

FNHA began reimbursing the monthly fees charged by private clinics on February 1, 2019 and will continue to do so  until March 31st, 2021.

How long is the turnaround time before a service provider's (i.e. clinic) invoice is paid?

Invoices will be processed from Monday to Friday during business hours. FNHA will review the invoice claim and respond to the requesting service provider within 1-2 business days. It may take up to two weeks for payment to be made for approved invoices.

What happens if a clinic does not wa​nt to deal with invoicing FNHA and asks clients to pay directly?

If this happens, please let FNHA know immediately by contacting oatclinicfees@fnha.ca or by phone at 604-693-6641. You can also visit a different OAT service provider. A list of providers can be found here.

Where can I find out about other people's experiences with OAT?

Read about other people's experiences here:

• Suboxone Stories Part 1: Two clients share their early journeys with Opioid Agonist Therapy

• Suboxone Stories Part 2: Two clients open up about the emotional challenges of Opioid Agonist Therapy

• Health Leaders discuss providing Opioid Agonist Therapy



Information about OAT: https://www.camh.ca/-/media/files/oat-info-for-clients.pdf

A list of OAT clinics accepting new patients: https://www​.bccsu.ca/oat-clinics-accepting-new-patients/

Subsidy Application for Opioid Ago nist Therapy Clinic Fees : http://www.fnha.c​a/Documents/FNHA-Subsidy-Application-For-Opioid-Agonist-Therapy-Clinic-Fees.pdf

Frequently Asked Questions: http://www.fnha.ca/​Documents/FNHA-Opioid-Agonist-Therapy-FAQs.pdf


If you have any questions about this initiative, please contact info@fnha.ca