New Funding Supports for Occupational Therapy in Long-Term Care Homes

OSOT is pleased to share that the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has made policy changes affecting funding of interprofessional services in long-term care homes that will increase funding accessible to support occupational therapy services in long-term care homes!

Effective April 1, 2019, the LTCH Physiotherapy Funding Policy is discontinued and physiotherapy funding provided for the provision of physiotherapy services for all LTC home residents is added to the Level of Care per diem funding under the Program Support Services envelope to be accessible to support a broader range of interprofessional services including occupational therapy.

The policy directive states that “an objective of the amalgamated funding approach for eligible therapeutic services is to help drive better outcomes for LTC residents through increased use of inter-professional staffing mixes. The increased funding flexibility for purchasing occupational and recreational therapy services, as well as the support offered through registered social workers, will help provide a broader range of professional care for residents and ultimately aims to enable improved quality of life.”

Implications for Occupational Therapists
This policy change is good news for occupational therapists and residents of long-term care homes who have needs for OT services. (View diverse range of services OTs provide in LTC Homes). Funding for OT services in LTCHs was significantly impacted by Physiotherapy Funding Reform in 2013. OSOT has since advocated for restoration of sufficient funding to support meaningful access to services.

While the policy change provides more funds to the Program Support Services budget from which now PT, OT and other therapies such as Recreation and Social Work are funded, OTs and OSOT will need to continue to promote the services OTs can provide to assist homes to meet resident outcomes, especially in homes where such limited access to OT services may have so diminished homes awareness of the range of services OTs can provide.

OSOT’s LTC Homes Team will be developing resources and strategy to effectively promote more robust OT services to homes. Interested to support this important work?  Contact OSOT!