1/ As if the #opioid crisis and the pending #ONhealth ED collapse weren’t enough, @OntariosDoctors section on Addiction Medicine warning OAT clinics across Ontario could see service disruptions as of Dec 1, 2022 (ironically #internationalaids day)
2/ At issue is the implementation of the new virtual care codes which will slash fees for video consultations with new patients— patients in rural or remote areas without access to specialists are likely to be most impacted. #onpoli #onhealth
3/The irony is that #mentalhealth in #ontario was pioneering in establishing the virtual care capacity that got us through #covid. Many community-based #buprenorphine programs in rural and remote areas operated virtually prior to the pandemic, increasing #accessibility to OAT.
4/Phone visits, which, IMO helped to retain people in treatment, also won’t be fully reimbursed. For my patients with no access to video/data, phone visits allowed flexibility and ⬇️ #noshows.
5/These changes will affect #feeforservice MDs. So, CHCs and FHOs will probably continue to offer these services, while #feeforservice MDs may or may not choose to do so, even within the same clinic. #patients will be confused why their neighbour can 📞 but they can’t.
6/ this is part of #dougford ‘a plan to #cutcosts and make #onhealthcare so terrible and confusing #privitization seems like a good idea. It will impact #accessibility and #portability of services.
7/ In particular, people living in #remote #rural areas, people without access to video/data, people who can’t take the day off, people with #mentalhealth and #addictions for whom virtual services were previously well-established, will be disproportionately impacted.
8/ Full disclosure, I consult for a #remote #FirstNations community-based #buprenorphine program and practice #feeforservice addiction med in Toronto. My #TO clinic has not decided what we will do come Dec 1. #onhealth #onpoli

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