Mental Health

​​​​Mental Health and Addictions Funding Initiative

On behalf of the Hospitals Advisory Committee, the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) is coordinating an initiative to explore funding approaches that support and incentivize improved quality of mental health and addictions care for Ontarians. This effort builds on over a decade of previous work in this area and aligns with the Ontario government's Roadmap to Wellness strategy, as well as the province's ongoing emphasis on integrated care.

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Two committees have been established to lead the initiative: the Mental Health and Addictions (MHA) Funding Advisory Committee and the Schizophrenia Integrated Care Steering Committee. The committees and their working groups advance the initiative with participating members from over twenty hospitals, the Ministry of Health, Ontario Health and its Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence, academic and research institutions and the community mental health and addictions sector. An international collaboration group of experts in other jurisdictions will also be established. 

Members are providing advice on both short and long-term strategies to incorporate clinical activity in mental health and addictions into patient-based funding models, with two initial priorities:

  • Given the high volume of inpatient activity related to patients with schizophrenia, exploring approaches to linking its hospital-based quality standard to funding. Subsequently, the initiative will investigate a bundled care approach that includes the journey from inpatient to community-based care.
  • An important component of this evidence-based work is data, and so the initiative will also develop a strategy to improve data quality and reporting for mental health and addictions services.

So far, the initiative has demonstrated that it is worth developing a funding methodology linked to quality, using inpatient mental health activity for people living with schizophrenia and metrics based on the Ontario Health Quality Standard Schizophrenia Care for Adults in Hospitals.  

Leveraging the learnings of the original inpatient component, the Schizophrenia Integrated Care Initiative Steering Committee was established with the goal of developing integrated care funding models for people living with schizophrenia across the continuum of care. 

Four prototype Ontario Health Teams and hospital and community partnerships are exploring an integrated care funding approach using the Ontario Health Quality Standard Schizophrenia Care for Adults in the Community. In addition to mental health providers, the initiative has been shaped by partnering with people with lived experience and their caregivers. These partner panels were made up of people who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, or people with children, siblings, parents or grandparents living with it. Input from the panel has been extremely valuable, bringing forward ideas and observations that might otherwise have been missed. ​​​​​​

To learn more about Ontario's journey towards value-based care in Mental Health and Addictions, read March 2021 , February 2022June 2022​, and November 2022 articles in Health System News. The video recording and presentation deck from a March 2022 information session are also available.