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  • Stephen Lecce, MPP

Ontario Making it Easier and More Convenient to Connect to Home Care

Updated: Oct 6, 2023

TORONTO — Today, the Ontario government is taking the next step to better connect and coordinate people’s care through Ontario Health Teams. The Convenient Care at Home Act, 2023, if passed, will make Ontario Health Teams responsible for connecting people to home care services starting in 2025.


Working together with Ontario Health, the province has already approved 57 out of 58 Ontario Health Teams across the province that over time will help people experience easier transitions from one provider to another, with one patient record and one care plan being shared between providers. To support this work, the government is investing over $128.2 million to provide every Ontario Health Team with $2.2 million over three years to better coordinate people’s care.

As a next step, today’s legislation, if passed, would establish a new, single organization called Ontario Health atHome that would take on responsibility for coordinating all home care services across the province through Ontario Health Teams. These changes will make it easier for people to connect to the home care services they need. Instead of navigating a complex system and waiting for a call at home, through Ontario Health atHome, Ontario Health Teams will be a one-stop shop that provides people with easy-to-understand home care plans that let them know the care they are going to receive and when before going home from hospital.

Ontario Health atHome care coordinators would be assigned to work within Ontario Health Teams and other front-line care settings. They also work alongside care providers like doctors and nurses, and directly with patients while in the hospital or in other care settings to facilitate seamless transitions for people from hospital or primary care to home care services.

“Ontario Health atHome will make it easier for people to find and navigate home care services, giving them the tools they need to know the care options available to them to stay in the comfort of their own home longer,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “With this next step, Ontario Health Teams can continue to ensure people get the right care, in the right place and seamlessly move between care providers during their care journey.”

An initial group of 12 Ontario Health Teams have been chosen to accelerate their work to deliver home care in their local communities starting in 2025. With support from the Ministry of Health and Ontario Health, these teams will start by focusing on seamlessly transitioning people experiencing chronic disease through their primary care, hospital, and home and community care needs.

Work is already underway on new models of care, and this will be accelerated by Ontario Health Teams. An early leader is Southlake Regional Health Centre, a member of the Southlake Community Ontario Health Team, who is already providing more convenient and coordinated transition services through their Geriatric Alternate Level of Care Reduction Program to ensure people who have completed a hospital stay in acute care are safely transitioned home with a home care plan already in place before they leave.

This initial group of 12 Ontario Health Teams will also begin to work on innovative solutions to provide people access to tools to navigate local health care services 24/7 including online information and referral services and telephone referral services. Over time, these local navigation services and Health811 will be connected, providing a seamless navigation experience for users.


Quick Facts

  • The Convenient Care at Home Act, 2023, if passed, would consolidate the 14 Home and Community Care Services organizations into a single organization - Ontario Health atHome – to provide a strong and centralized foundation to support stability of home care services now, and as care is delivered through Ontario Health Teams in the future.

  • Ontario is investing an additional $10.3 million in 2023-24 to support Ontario Health Teams to implement better ways to connect primary, hospital and home and community care for patients with diabetes, heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, including options for connecting with providers online.

  • With an investment of more than $124 million, Ontario Health Teams and other health service providers are also investing in digital and virtual care options so people in Ontario can easily connect with a health care worker from the comfort of their home, including remote care monitoring and online appointment booking.


Quotes

"Ontario must massively expand the size and role of the provincial home and community care system to properly care for a growing and aging population. The legislative changes being introduced today are an important step towards ensuring more Ontarians can get the health care they require in the most appropriate setting – at home."

- Sue VanderBent CEO, Home Care Ontario

"Today’s announcement is an important step in modernizing Ontario’s home care system. We look forward to continuing to work together to provide the best possible care to patients, in the comfort of their homes."

- Sandra Ketchen President and CEO of Spectrum Health Care

"Home and community care plays a critical role in the future of a strong Ontario health care system. Legislative changes that strengthen this vital service will be important for supporting client care in an integrated health system."

- Deborah Simon CEO, Ontario Community Support Association

"This ‘connected care’ approach, and the provincial investments to support it, will help transform health care delivery and support the vision of all Ontarians having full access to the care they need, across the spectrum of health care - all working together to deliver integrated care, through their Ontario Health Team."

- Matthew Anderson President and CEO of Ontario Health

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