The Change Foundation, an independent policy think tank interested in health system debate, practice and experience in Ontario, has released a new report addressing health care funding in the province. The report is aimed at creating a better understanding of the impact that funding levers and financial incentives can have on the quality of people’s experience as they navigate the healthcare system and how they receive a continuum of care.
In preparing the report the Change Foundation reviewed key documents, commissioned two international case studies to learn from other jurisdictions and hosted a symposium to discuss the issues with stakeholders. The documents, case studies and symposium revealed eight key points to consider when planning and designing funding models and payment systems that encourage providers to work together in delivering coordinated, integrated, comprehensive and high quality care to patients as they move through the health system in Ontario. The key points identified in the document are that:
- System-wide impact is critical
- Organizational span matters
- Primary care must be included in system planning
- The effect of fee-for-service payment models should be blunted
- Financial incentives alone cannot change culture
- A commitment to quality must be demonstrated
- Accountability and performance reporting must play a bigger role
- Continuous improvement applies to funding models
See “Tools for Change: Funding Incentives and Levers for Integrating Patient Care in Ontario,” Change Foundation, November 2010, available at www.changefoundation.ca.