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Hospital On-Call Coverage Program

Background

The Hospital On-Call Coverage (HOCC) Program is an initiative of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) and individual Ontario acute care hospitals with an emergency department. The Program is funded and administered by the MOHLTC. It was established in 2000 in the Physician Services Framework Agreement between the MOHLTC and the OMA to facilitate the provision of after-hours on-call services at eligible acute care hospitals. The HOCC Program provides incentives to physicians for the additional burden that on-call service provision places on them and their lifestyles.

The 2004 Physician Services Framework Agreement details the funding levels for different specialty groups and numbers of participating physicians. It also provides premiums for rural areas and GP/Anesthesia. Funding for 2010/11 remains at the 2007/08 levels. Hospitals are responsible for the provision of after-hours on-call services in the communities they serve, and need to recruit and retain physicians to fulfill this function.

Physicians agree with hospitals to provide on-call services. Hospitals make application to the HOCC Program by Department or as a hospital. The Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) Chair signs the HOCC Agreement as representative of physicians. More than 10,000 Ontario physicians participate in and benefit from the Program.

The HOCC budget has grown from $49M at its inception to over $200M currently. Over the years, new specialty groups have been added to the on-call program, as well as second first-on-call rotas for defined groups: General and Family Medicine, Anesthesia, Obstetrics and Gynecology, General Internal Medicine and Neonatal Intensive Care.

Participation in the Enhanced HOCC Program is voluntary, subject to foregoing any “top-up” compensation for on-call that hospitals may have provided to physicians in the past in addition to HOCC funding.

The Physician Services Committee (PSC) - a bilateral Committee of the MOHLTC and the OMA - oversees policy issues and financial issue for the HOCC Program.

HOCC Administration

Section 6.2.1 of the 2008 Physician Services Agreement states: “The MOHLTC will undertake responsibility for the administration of the HOCC program as of March 31, 2009, or such earlier date as is agreed upon by the Parties.”  With the agreement of the Physician Services Committee, the transfer was delayed for one year. 

Effective April 1, 2010, all operations of the Hospital On-Call Coverage Program will be administered by the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care. 

Please direct all inquiries concerning applications, payments, changes and general program information to:

Tel #: 1.866.684.8620
Fax #: 613.536.3186
E-mail:  HOCC@ontario.ca
Mailing Address: Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, Provider Payment Program, HOCC Program, 370 Select Drive, PO Box 168, Kingston, ON K7M 8T4

The HOCC Program at the OMA has enjoyed the opportunity to serve Ontario's physicians in administering this important physician benefit negotiated by the OMA and MOHLTC.

Published on: 4/24/2010 11:35 AM
Printed on: 04/24/2014 01:54 AM
Dedicated to Doctors, Committed to Patients