The Ontario government should expand and strengthen compensation reform for primary care doctors as it creates new Ontario Health Teams to better coordinate healthcare services, argues a new C.D. Howe Institute report. Such compensation reform is compatible with improving appropriateness of care and could be a more flexible way to reduce medically unnecessary treatments than the current approach of delisting services from public coverage.
In “Health Teams and Primary Care Reform in Ontario: Staying the Course,” authors Åke Blomqvist and Rosalie Wyonch examine Ontario’s experiment with capitation-based payment methods, in which doctors are paid in part on the basis of a patient head count, not purely via fee-for-service. They conclude that the relatively limited effects of the new payment methods in terms of improving access or saving costs are due to the weak incentives and loopholes in the partial capitation options that doctors have been offered.