Community-Based Specialty Clinics Strategy

Frequently Asked Questions - Applications Process for Low-Risk Cataract Procedures

Submitting an Application

When is the deadline for submitting specialty clinic applications?

The deadline for applications is April 22, 2014 11:59 PM (Eastern Standard Time), according to the time that the e-mail is received in the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care's (Ministry) and Local Health Integration Network's (LHIN) e-mail systems (the Application Submission Deadline).

How should applications be submitted?

Applications must be submitted by email to both the LHIN (see guidelines for appropriate LHIN contact email address) and the Ministry at by the above Application Submission Deadline.

Will receipt of an application be acknowledged before it is assessed and evaluated?

All applicants who have submitted an application will receive an acknowledgement e-mail within one business day of the application being received. If you have not received an acknowledgement email, please contact us at with a copy of the original email submission.

Is the process different for existing IHFs responding to the applications process?

All applicants will need to submit an application if they are interested in creating a specialty clinic under the Community-Based Specialty Clinics Strategy.

Questions during the Applications Process

Will the Ministry respond to questions from applicants during the application process?

Yes. Questions should be directed to the The Questions Submission Deadline is March 31, 2014 at 11:59 PM (Eastern Standard Time), according to the time that the e-mail is received in the MOHLTC's e-mail systems. All questions (without identifying who submitted the questions) received by the deadline and the responses will be posted on the Ministry's Specialty Clinics web page at so that all potential applicants can benefit from the response.

How can additional information be obtained about the applications process?

Questions about the applications process (and general questions about the Community-Based Specialty Clinics Strategy) can be submitted via e-mail to: Questions from applicants related to an application must be submitted before the Question Submission Deadline in order for ministry responses to be posted prior to the Application Submission Deadline.

Is it possible to submit questions after the question submission deadline?

Questions about the applications process received after the Question Submission Deadline (March 31, 2014 at 11:59 PM) will be answered. However, the responses may not be available prior to the Application Submission Deadline. Reponses will be posted to the Ministry's Specialty Clinics web page.

Will the Ministry hold information sessions for applicants on the specialty clinic application process?

The Ministry will consider hosting information sessions for applicants if there is interest. Notification about information sessions will be posted on the Ministry's Specialty Clinics web page.

Evaluation of Applications

What is the LHIN's role in evaluating the application?

Once the application is submitted, the respective LHIN will evaluate the application to ensure alignment with the LHIN Integrated Service Plan and local Vision Care Plan as appropriate/applicable. If the LHIN supports the application, the LHIN CEO will need to formally sign the application prior to submitting it to the Ministry. As part of the LHIN advice to the Ministry, LHINs will be asked to outline :

  • community feedback on the application;
  • the LHIN's support for the proposal; and
  • the LHIN's recommendation(s) to the Ministry.

When will the Ministry evaluate the application?

The Ministry will evaluate a specialty clinic application if the respective LHIN has endorsed the application and provided the advice noted above to the Ministry.

What is the Ministry's role in the evaluating the application?

The Ministry will evaluate all applications endorsed by the LHIN on their ability to meet the requirements identified in the application guidelines. The Ministry will be responsible for identifying applicants that are conditionally approved. Final approval will be issued once all relevant requirements are met, including physical design and quality requirements.

Outcome of Applications

When will applicants be notified about the outcome of the application process?

Successful applicants will be notified of conditional approval in summer/fall 201Applicants that are conditionally approved will need to meet all relevant requirements, including all quality and physical design requirements, before final approval may be granted.

Applicants who do not successfully meet requirements will be notified in summer/fall 2014.

Will there be other opportunities for unsuccessful applicants?

The Ministry plans to launch future applications processes under the Community-Based Specialty Clinic Strategy.  Previously unsuccessful applicants would be eligible to re-apply if interested in the future.

Consultation with Hospitals and LHINs

When should applicants start consultation with Hospitals and LHINs?

Applicants should contact the hospital and LHIN as early as possible. Procedures will not shift out of hospitals without the support of the hospital and the LHIN. Early engagement is encouraged to ensure agreement between the parties and alignment with local LHIN integration plans.

Are there any specific requirements under the Local Health System Integration Act, 2006 (LHSIA) that applicants need to be aware of?

Applicants will need to work with the hospitals to notify the LHIN if the shift in services from the hospital to the specialty clinic is considered a "service integration" according to the Local Health System Integration Act, 2006 (see application guidelines for further details).

Non-Profit Status

When does an applicant need to confirm incorporation as a non-profit organization?

A specialty clinic will need to confirm that it is incorporated as a non-profit organization at the time of submitting the application.

Are there any guidelines for establishing a non-profit organization?

Applicants should refer to the Not-for-Profit Incorporator's Handbook as a guide for establishing a non-profit organization. Forms for incorporation as a non-profit are available on the Ministry of Government Services (MGS) website.

Funding Questions

How is the Quality Based Procedure (QBP) Price Determined?

The Ministry is phasing in a patient-based funding model where 'money follows the patient'. QBPs were first introduced in April 2012 and use clinical best practices to identify appropriate procedures and pricing. The development of QBP best practices and prices are grounded on evidence, available case costing data and clinical consensus.

Currently, QBP prices for several services are being phased into hospital budgets. The price for these services, excluding physician professional fees, will be set as a maximum cost per case for Community-Based Specialty Clinics.

How does the QBP price apply to Specialty Clinics?

Funding will be re-allocated at the QBP rate at which the hospital shifting procedures was funded, up to a maximum of the average provincial QBP rate per procedure. In 2013/14, the average QBP funding for direct costs for cataract procedures is $547. In future years, the price may be adjusted based on evidence.

For More Information

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