Modernizing the Legislative Framework for Home and Community Care
Bill or Act:
Connecting People to Home and Community Care Act, 2020
Summary of Proposal:
The Home Care and Community Services Act, 1994 and its regulations govern the provision of publicly funded home and community care services in Ontario. This framework was developed twenty-six years ago to address inconsistent access to care, variability of care and patient experience, and to manage demand for services. While the current model has made progress on these issues, feedback from the public and system partners indicates that delivery can be rigid and siloed, creating barriers to modernizing and connecting care.
In 2019, the Connecting Care Act, 2019 established a framework for a connected health care system. The Act also identified criteria for the establishment and oversight of Ontario Health Teams and established an agency of the government - Ontario Health - to fund and oversee health system services.
Through the Connecting People to Home and Community Care Act, 2020, if passed by the Ontario legislature, the ministry is proposing to leverage existing authorities in the Connecting Care Act, 2019 to govern the funding and oversight of home and community care. This approach recognizes that home and community care is part of an integrated system and is not a stand-alone service. It would embed home and community care in broader health system legislation, creating a single framework for integrated care. Eventually, with a strong regulatory framework in place to ensure quality, consistency and accountability, with ongoing patient rights and complaint mechanisms, the Home Care and Community Services Act, 1994 and its regulations, would be repealed.
Similar to other Canadian jurisdictions, detailed parameters for the delivery of home and community care would be outlined in regulation and policy, rather than legislation. The ministry is planning to maintain the core elements of the home and community care program, while introducing flexibility for Ontario Health Teams and other providers to implement integrated, effective and accountable models of care that respond to local needs.
The ministry would maintain the ability to fund Indigenous communities directly by amending the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Act (MOHLTC Act). This would maintain the government-to-government relationship with Indigenous communities in the delivery of home and community care services. The MOHLTC Act would also be amended to maintain the Minister's right of subrogation and cost recovery currently found in the Home Care and Community Services Act, 1994 and the Ministry is proposing regulations under the MOHLTC Act with respect to these rights.
The two appendices attached provide a summary of the ministry's proposed regulations under the Connecting Care Act, 2019 and other legislation to support the home and community care program in Ontario. The ministry is seeking feedback on these proposed regulations.
February 25, 2020
Comments Due Date:
April 14, 2020
1075 Bay Street West
Toronto ON M5S 2B1