July 28, 2015
28 July, 2015
A mother complained to the Ombudsman after she was forced to pay $7,000 for a spot for her adult daughter in a residential treatment program for women with substance abuse issues.
A mother complained to the Ombudsman after she was forced to pay $7,000 for a spot for her adult daughter in a residential treatment program for women with substance abuse issues. The daughter was just two days into the five-week program when a spot became available that was publicly funded through the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). However, she wasn’t permitted to take this spot, even though it remained empty. The woman felt the program shouldn’t receive funds for an empty spot and that her $7,000 should be refunded.
The LHIN reviewed the woman’s concerns at our Office’s request, and arranged for the treatment program to reimburse the money for the full cost of the daughter’s placement. It also acknowledged problems with the program’s admissions process. The method of pre-screening applicants was inadequate, and one-third of patients dropped out of the program before completing it, leaving the LHIN paying the service provider for empty spots.
After our intervention, the LHIN committed to have the residential program redesign its admissions policy to ensure those enrolled are prepared to participate in a treatment program, including enlisting the help of a clinical psychologist as part of the screening process. The LHIN also committed to reviewing its other funded residential services to ensure they had appropriate admission policies and fewer empty beds.