Proposed amendment to O. Reg. 264/07 made under the Local Health System Integration Act, 2006
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Local Health System Integration Act, 2006
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.
If the IHF model is used, regulatory changes are required to integrate the IHFs into the local planning of health care and to support the shift of procedures. Under LHSIA, LHINs have responsibility for hospitals. LHINs and hospitals enter into accountability agreements that include funding and allocations, service volumes, reporting, indicators, and targets. Currently, IHF services can only be funded directly by the Ministry. They cannot be funded by LHINs.
The proposed regulation change, which will occur in concert with changes to the Independent Health Facilities Act (IHFA), prescribes IHFs as health service providers, supporting the mandate of the LHINs to plan and fund health services in their regions. The proposed amendment makes every Local Health Integration Network within the meaning of the Local Health Integration Act, 2006 a prescribed person for the purposes of subsection 3(3) of the IHFA. Subsection 3(3) states that facility fees may only be charged to or a payment received from the ministry or a prescribed person. With these changes, LHINs can be given the same funding responsibility for IHFs as they have for hospitals. The proposed amendment will ensure there is no conflict between the LHSIA and the IHFA.
Once the regulation change is approved, the Ministry would direct LHINs 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