Ontario seniors will pay $400 a day to stay in hospital instead of moving to LTC
The Ontario government says hospital patients waiting for a place in long-term care homes can be moved to other locations they don’t choose up to 150 kilometers away or be charged $400 a day s ‘They refuse.
Bill 7, also known as the « More Beds, Better Care Act, » allows for the temporary transfer of elderly hospital patients waiting for a place in a long-term care home to another home they did not choose. It received royal assent at the end of August.
Advocates have previously expressed concern, saying the elderly would be moved to long-term care homes away from their families or be charged exorbitant fees to stay in hospital if they chose to decline the ‘offer.
Under new rules released on Wednesday afternoon, the government set firm guidelines for how far a patient can be moved.
As of September 21, if there is no space available in a discharged patient’s home of choice, they may be transferred to a home within 70 kilometers in southern Ontario or to a 150 kilometer radio in northern Ontario.
If there is no long-term care home or there are few places available within that radius, placement coordinators can select the home closest to the patient’s preferred location.
“This gives us the maximum flexibility so that we can offer hospital patients who wish to move from higher quality care to long-term care more options available to them,” said Minister of Long-Term Care, Paul Calandras.
If patients refuse the place, the hospital is allowed to charge a daily fee of $400.
The fee would begin 24 hours after discharge beginning Nov. 20 and would apply to any discharged patient who refuses to leave the hospital, not just those transferred to long-term care.
Prior to these regulations, the maximum rate for Alternate Level of Care (ALC) patients choosing to stay in the hospital rather than move to one of five homes of their choice was $62.18 per day, or nearly $1,900 per month.
Health Minister Sylvia Jones told reporters the $400 was intended as a strong incentive for families to « have these difficult conversations ».
« We chose $400 because we think it’s concerning enough for people to have these difficult conversations with placement coordinators to make the effort, as a family, to have conversations about where where do we want our loved ones to travel through on their next trip,” she said.
« The bottom line is that acute care hospital beds should be reserved for acute care patients. »
The Minister said the charge is not meant to be seen as a compulsion, but rather as a mere indication that the patient does not need hospital treatment.
« We are ensuring that you are placed in the most appropriate way and that appropriate place is not in an acute care facility, where you no longer need acute care. »
The government said these restrictions were based on contributions from the healthcare and long-term care sector, although it did not specify who these partners were.
NDP long-term care critic Wayne Gates argues the pressure of moving to a long-term care home they didn’t choose — potentially farther from families or caregivers — will have a negative impact on the health and well-being of older people.
« Imagine having to drive two hours to kiss your wife goodnight. Imagine the guilt of knowing you can’t afford to pay $400 a day to keep your father in the hospital and having to put him in a for-profit long-term care home with a devastating record and disgusting living conditions,” Gates said.
“Forcing them to move will not reduce our healthcare staffing crisis at all. What we should be doing is tackling the staffing crisis at the heart of our health care crisis, not playing a cruel game of musical chairs that kicks the elderly and people with disabilities out of hospital beds. .
Jones said the policy could free up 400 acute care beds in Ontario hospitals and transferred patients would remain on the priority list for a spot in their preferred locations.
The province said there are about 1,800 hospital patients waiting for a place in one of their five main long-term care homes.
Factors such as culture, religion and language will all be taken into consideration when seeking a placement for elderly patients. Couples will be placed together.