Long-term care funding: a deeply flawed mess

Provincial governments across Canada are facing increasing public demands for more long-term care beds. Alberta is resisting these demands. Instead, it’s overhauling the long-term care system and making better use of existing beds.

“It’s doing this by changing the way it pays long-term care homes, shifting to a new payment model called patient/care-based funding, or PCBF. PCBF provides more money to homes that care for sicker, more complex residents.” says Trafford Camp, co-author of The Alberta Health Services Patient/Care–Based Funding Model for Long Term Care: A Review and Analysis (Review). “If the Alberta government sticks to its guns and fully implements the new PCBF model, it should help reduce wait lists and improve financial accountability in long-term care.”

This is complete nonsense. System capacity is defined by Little’s Law. The amount of work any system can do (capacity) is equal to the amount of work the system can hold, divided by the average time required to do the work. The long term care translation–capacity equals the number of beds divided by resident’s average length of stay. Increasing capacity, therefore, requires increasing the number of beds or decreasing the length of stay.<The Full Article>

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