Bill 74, The People’s Health Care Act Unveiled
The provincial government is moving ahead with an ambitious health reform agenda.
On February 26th, Minister Elliot unveiled Bill 74, the People’s Health Care Act at Bridgepoint Active Health Care. I was on site for the announcement. This legislation, which has already passed first reading at Queen’s Park, is the government’s blueprint to reshape health care in Ontario.
The OMA’s analysis of the bill can be found here. The full legislation is available here.
3 Key Takeaways:
- Bill 74 emphasizes integration as a core aspiration for a health care system notable for silos and a “fractured bureaucracy.”
- Ontario Health — a new central oversight agency — will absorb the LHINs, and many other entities such as Cancer Care Ontario, HealthForceOntario, eHealth etc. The timeline for this will be over the next few years.
- Ontario Health Teams — locally organized provider groups — will deliver integrated care for a defined population across at least three domains, such as primary care, home care, acute care, long-term care, palliative care, mental health and addictions care and services, etc. Introduction of these integrated care delivery systems will be gradual, following a call for Expressions of Interest and a few pilot projects to start.
Speaking to media, I’ve noted that while Bill 74 is an important step towards health system integration, the details matter and physicians are key to health system transformation. The OMA welcomes efforts to enhance system integration and efficiency, and we’re calling on government to ensure that any cost savings from administrative efficiency should be reinvested in frontline care.
Arbitration Town Hall Reminder
We’ve had a good turnout to date for the tele-town hall information sessions about the recent arbitration decision. Questions have revolved around timelines for Phase II, how the arbitration award will be applied, the roles of the Appropriateness and Primary Care Working Groups, and so on.
There are two more events scheduled below:
Thurs., Feb. 28 — Districts 1-5 (Central/Southwest)
Mon., March 4 — Districts 6-8 (Eastern)
Each session will run from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. EST. Again, any and all members are welcome. Call in to ask questions to me or to the Negotiations Team.
Links to Arbitration Documents
Phase I Arbitration Award – Full Document
Award Summary Infographic
OMA Negotiations/Arbitration Main Landing Page
Appropriateness Working Group
The Arbitration Award established an Appropriateness Working Group (AWG). The purpose of the AWG is to improve the quality of patient care by reducing medically unnecessary or inappropriate medical services without compromising patient access to medically necessary services. In doing so, the AWG cannot set, change or reduce fees for any service. Rather, the AWG must focus on payment rule changes, delisting and physician and patient education.
As a continuation of their prior discussions, the OMA and Ministry negotiating teams will function as the AWG. The OMA Negotiations Committee has committed to consulting widely with Sections, MIGs, Forums and other clinical experts/expert panels.
The working group is interested in your ideas: how do we decrease provision of medically unnecessary or inappropriate services in your specialty?
Proposed changes should be for the Schedule of Benefits, must be for services provided by or initiated by physicians that are actionable and measurable, and have supporting peer-reviewed evidence/guidelines.
Ideas can be emailed to email@example.com. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 1.800.268.7215 or 416.599.2580.