Also Cautions Against Drawing Wrong Conclusions from Study
TORONTO, April 5, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Ontario's hospitals deliver superior outcomes at the second lowest per capita cost in all of Canada the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) stated today in response to questions arising from yesterday's release of the national Canadian Hospital Reporting Project by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), which included comparative data respecting administrative costs and cost per weighted case.
"Ontario's hospitals are extremely efficient compared to hospitals in other provinces," said OHA Interim President and CEO Mark Rochon. "Compared to the average of all other provinces, the Government of Ontario spends $300 less per person on hospital care. This translates into a hospital efficiency dividend that benefits Ontario taxpayers by $4.1 billion dollars this year alone."
The CIHI's Canadian Hospital Reporting Project includes comparative information respecting administrative cost in Canadian hospitals. For Ontario and Quebec, the data is reported at the individual hospital level because only these two provinces retain independent hospital corporations. In all other provinces, the independent corporate status of hospitals has disappeared because of the creation of regional health authorities. This means that the administrative cost structure in hospitals within health authorities is fundamentally different. As a result, and in the view of the OHA, it is inappropriate to draw conclusions about hospital administrative costs by comparing jurisdictions.
"Comparing administrative costs using the CIHI study is an apples to oranges comparison," said Rochon. "But let's set that aside for a moment. What we want to drive home to the taxpayers of Ontario is that their hospitals are very efficient and that they are committed to making further efficiency gains while also improving performance."
The CIHI study reports that Ontario's overall cost per weighted case is high compared to other jurisdictions. However, it is wrong to conclude that these results mean that Ontario's hospitals are inefficient. Ontario admits far fewer patients per capita than other provinces while also emphasizing ambulatory care to a far greater degree. This means that patients who are admitted to hospital tend to be the most ill and most in need of intensive, higher cost treatment not accounted for in weighted cases. Ontario also has the largest number of academic hospitals in Canada, many of which provide services available in few or no other place in the country. Further, the wages and benefits for nurses in Ontario are higher compared to other jurisdictions.
"The OHA welcomes the Canadian Hospital Reporting Project because it adds to our knowledge of hospital performance," added Rochon. "But it is important not to rush to the wrong conclusion about how Ontario's hospitals perform either."
Each year 50,000 people respond to surveys designed to measure patient satisfaction with hospital care. 93% of respondent rate their experience as positive. Ontario has significantly lower wait times than other provinces. Ontario is one of only two provinces to complete 75% of their wait time procedures within established benchmarks.
About the OHA
The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) is the voice of Ontario's public hospitals. Founded in 1924, the OHA uses advocacy, education and partnerships to build a strong, innovative and sustainable health care system for all Ontarians.