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Self-directed funding for Ontario home care

Self-directed funding for Ontario home care

TORONTO – Ontario patients and family caregivers will get more control over the types of home and community care services they can access under a new program being unveiled today.

The Canadian Press has learned Health Minister Eric Hoskins will announce details of a self-directed funding program for patients needing care at home, which will start with a series of pilot projects to work out details such as how the money will flow.

Government sources say the program will give patients more choice over who provides services in their home and when the services are delivered, with different funding levels depending on needs.

The pilot projects for ‘Bringing Care Home’ will start later this year, and providers will be asked to submit ideas for other home and community care models.

The goal is to give patients and their caregivers more flexibility and control over the care they receive by involving them more in the planning and co-ordination at the start.

Patients will have the option of whether or not to participate in the self-directed funding program, because people with more complex care needs will likely want to let their Community Care Access Centre co-ordinate their care.

Ontario spends about $4.3 billion a year on home and community care services, and its recent budget provided an additional $750 million until 2017, when it hopes to have its self-directed funding model fully implemented.

Nearly 1.5 million people in Ontario, mostly seniors, receive community services including meals, transportation and caregiver support.

The pilot programs “will test innovative approaches to bundle funding specific to a patient’s needs as they transition out of hospital and back in their homes and communities,” the government said in the budget.

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By The Canadian Press

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