Hospitals - Frequently Asked Questions

What is complex continuing care?

Complex continuing care facilities used to be called “chronic care”.  They provide ongoing, medically complex and specialized services in either freestanding hospitals or in designated beds within acute care hospitals.  Patients usually have long-term illnesses which are unstable, or disabilities requiring skilled, technology-based care which is not available at home or in long-term care homes.  The legislation does not provide any specific information about the type of care offered by complex continuing care facilities.  Most facilities set their own admission criteria.  Applications for admission are made directly to the complex continuing care facility.


Do I have to pay if I'm staying in a complex continuing care facility?

The regulations to the Health Insurance Act says that a hospital may charge you co-payment if your doctor has determined that you require complex continuing care and are more or less a permanent resident in the hospital or other institution.  The most that you can be charged is $53.23 per day.  The rules and calculations for rate reductions are also set out in the regulations.


Is there a fee to receive rehabilitation services?

You can receive rehabilitation services either within a rehabilitation unit in a general hospital or in a hospital dedicated to rehabilitation.  There is no fee for rehabilitation in hospital. 


What is palliative care?

Palliative care, or end-of-life care, is intended to provide comfort and lessen the pain of a person who is dying.  There is no charge to the patient for palliative care.  While some hospitals will try to limit palliative care to certain time periods, there is no legislative authority to do so.


I am currently in the hospital but I need long-term care.  I am being told by the hospital that I have to accept the first available bed in a long-term care home within 100 kilometres of the hospital.  Is this true?

The legislation which governs placement in long-term care states that a person has the right to choose the homes to which they wish to apply. Admission must be consented to be the person.  The legislation gives no authority to hospitals in the placement process.  Applications are made to and processed by the local Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) which must abide by strict legislative requirements.  However, the pressure on the applicant is often great to choose a home that they do not want to go to.  For a complete discussion of the issue, please review the ACE Library