The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is seeking applications from health care organizations to form Ontario Health Teams (OHTs). Successful applicants that meet the readiness requirements will be designated by the Minister as “integrated care delivery systems” under Section 29 of the Connecting Care Act (Bill 74). Designated OHTs will be prioritized for future investments and be eligible for performance-based financial incentives.

The vision is for every patient in Ontario to be served by an OHT that provides a continuum of coordinated care.

Every OHT needs to establish its own leadership, accountability and governance model. There is no prescribed right or wrong way to set up an OHT. The model you choose needs to work for your organizations. It needs to ensure that there is a mechanism to make collaborative decisions that will support the continuum of care envisioned by the MOHLTC. The model will likely evolve over time – in initial stages the participating organizations will likely want to maintain their autonomy while coordinating service delivery and decision-making. This model may evolve, as the organizations work together and better understand each other’s operations and services, to more integrated management and/or governance models.

We can help.

We have worked for years with health care organizations on many different types of collaborative models that span the spectrum from complete integration to complete autonomy with coordinated decision-making. These models include variations on the following:

  • collaborative governance models that facilitate shared boards or shared committees that implement joint decision-making and allow for coordinated financial and clinical oversight
  • alliance arrangements that allow separate boards or separate committees to work together to make joint decisions
  • arrangements that facilitate efficiency through sharing of scarce resources – those resources may include management resources, back-office services or IT services (including sharing of an electronic medical record)
  • complete integrations through merger or amalgamation.

We would be happy to work with you to review the options that are available, how they may evolve, and what solution would best suit your potential OHT. We can also help to ensure that whatever model you establish reflects best governance and oversight practices to manage the financial and quality risks (and opportunities) associated with collaborative service delivery.

We can also document your model in a formal legal agreement that will demonstrate your readiness to move forward as a designed OHT.

Please contact either Kathy O’Brien (kobrien@ddohealthlaw.com) or Michael Gleeson (mgleeson@ddohealthlaw.com) for a discussion about next steps.