Collaboration sparks the beginnings of a financial long-term care indicator

At CIHI, we encourage and rely on input from our stakeholders to help our work evolve to better meet their needs. This can result in new analyses, methodologies and, sometimes, new indicators.  

An idea grows from feedback

One of our current projects is a great example of how feedback grows from an idea to an indicator. Given Canada’s aging population and the increasing importance of understanding seniors’ care, stakeholders across the country asked us to shift our focus and consider spending across the health care continuum. Our latest National Health Expenditure Database (NHEX) report shows that spending in “other institutions” — largely composed of long-term care services — represents 10.7% of annual health spending in Canada.

As a result, we began developing a new financial indicator: Cost of a Standard Resident Day in Long-Term Care. The first step in the development was a consultation with health stakeholders in Newfoundland and Labrador. Last fall, 40 representatives from multiple health organizations in the province attended the consultation and provided valuable feedback. Since then, further consultations have also been held in Alberta and Manitoba. Efforts are being made to hold discussions with other provinces in the coming months on the subject of financial reporting in the long-term care sector.

Why is this indicator important?

Cost of a Standard Resident Day in Long-Term Care combines both financial and clinical data, and once it has been finalized, it will take on a pan-Canadian perspective. Discussions with health system managers have confirmed that this indicator will be very useful for planning and budgeting. Other potential uses might include cost measurement and accountability management.

Sparking dialogue

So far, reactions to the development of this indicator have been very positive, and the discussions held have been valuable in finalizing the approach and development of a sound methodology. These discussions, which have sparked dialogue across the country about long-term care and the associated costs, will be continuing as we move forward.