CCAC Expanded Role - Improving Access to Care
Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) have been working with health service providers to support access to safe, quality health care. While Ontario currently has single points of access for some types of care (e.g. assessment / admission to long-term care homes) in other instances consistent access points do not exist (e.g. adult day programs).
To ensure the right care, at the right place, at the right time, at the right cost, the CCACs and LHINs are working in partnership to optimize CCAC capacity to be the single point of access for defined health services; and a connection for Ontarians for the most appropriate health services. This initiative will not only help individuals access the care they need, it will also optimize the use of health system resources and support consistent access to those resources. Many LHINs have already put in place some of these roles.
Why are Community Care Access Centres taking on this role?
In September 2009, regulations came into effect expanding the CCACs role in helping clients access care in adult day programs, complex continuing care beds, rehabilitation beds and supportive housing. New legislation was passed recently extending this to assisted living. CCACs are already working with many health care system partners including hospitals, long-term care homes, adult day programs and others, to support the care of their clients. This role builds on their expertise to provide individualized health needs assessments and match them with the appropriate services.
What happens next?
In each of the 14 LHINs, CCACs are already engaged in supporting Ontarians to access various services. LHINs and CCACs will be collaborating with health service providers and other stakeholders in their respective regions as they develop plans to fully implement the legislation by March 31, 2013. There will also be ongoing engagement of provincial associations and stakeholders.
- The ministry has endorsed this system navigator role for the CCACs by making regulation changes to the Community Care Access Corporations Act in September 2009.
- The expanded role for CCACs means patients will have a single point of access to local health care services. This change supports some the major goals of the government’s Excellent Care For All strategy – to reduce unnecessary hospital visits and increase the quality of each patient’s care experience.
- In addition to coordinating placement into long-term care homes, the new regulations expand the CCAC role to also facilitate the transfer of people as they access adult day programs, complex continuing care beds, rehabilitation beds and supportive housing/assisted living programs.
- LHINs and CCACs are committed to ensuring individuals receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place, while at the same time ensuring resources are utilized efficiently from an overall system perspective.
LHINs and CCACs will continue to collaborate with all health service providers to ensure individuals receive the right care in the most appropriate setting.
- CCACs will continue to work with other providers to fully implement by March 2013 this single point of access for placement over the next two years.
- A key focus is to reduce ED wait times and address alternate level of care patients in acute care settings. Throughout the province there are excellent examples of CCACs implementing “best practice” care that can be adapted for use by other CCACs.
CCAC Expanded Role Communiqués
Below is a series of communiqués that will be provided quarterly to LHINs, CCACs and the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care to share information about progress on the implementation of the expanded CCAC role in placements to adult day programs, supportive housing/assisted living, complex care and rehabilitation beds.