A Regulation under the Independent Health Facilities Act - Prescribed Persons
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Independent Health Facilities Act, 1990
Summary of Decision:
Regulations approved as proposed.
August 12, 2013
Summary of Proposal:
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (Ministry) is proceeding to establish community-based specialty clinics as per Ontario's January 2012 Action Plan for Health Care. Shifting low-risk ambulatory services from a hospital to a community-based setting represents an opportunity to improve access and the patient experience, maintain quality and outcomes of services, and realize reductions in costs for routine services currently performed in a hospital setting.
Services will not be shifted from hospitals if changes to capacity will impact their stability. The establishment of community-based specialty clinics will be guided by clinical evidence and stakeholder consultations. One model being contemplated for establishing community-based specialty clinics is the Independent Health Facility (IHF) program.
Currently, under the Independent Health Facilities Act (IHFA) only the Ministry may fund IHFs. IHFs cannot be funded by LHINs or Cancer Care Ontario. Regulatory changes are required to integrate the IHFs into the local planning of health care and to support the shift and funding of procedures
The proposed regulation, which will occur in concert with changes to the Local Health System Integration Act, 2006 (LHSIA), prescribes IHFs as health services providers, supporting the mandate of the LHINs to plan and fund health services in their regions. The proposed regulation makes every IHF within the meaning of the Independent Health Facilities Act a prescribed health service provider for the purposes of LHSIA. LHINs can be given the same funding responsibility for IHFs as they have for hospitals. The proposed regulation will ensure there is no conflict between the LHSIA and the IHFA.
Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) has responsibility for the planning, co-ordination, and funding of cancer-related services. The change to the IHFA will allow CCO to fund community-based specialty clinics should CCO related services be provided in IHFs.
Once the regulation is approved, the Ministry would direct LHINs and CCO to fund IHFs as part of the Community-Based Specialty Clinics Strategy.
The goal of this initiative is to create a more seamless and efficient planning and funding mechanism for ambulatory services to support improved patient care.
Independent Health Facilities Unit, Diagnostic Services Branch, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, 2-49 Place D'Armes, Kingston, Ontario K7L 5J3
January 1, 2014