Paying what’s fair

Authority Vancouver Coastal Health Authority

Rose complained about the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority’s (VCHA) response to her concerns about her mother’s residential care rates. Rose said her mother had to pay facility fees that were not taken into account by VCHA in its review of her request for a temporary rate reduction. Rose said she raised her concerns with her MLA and others, but was not able to resolve them.

We investigated whether VCHA had followed a fair procedure in responding to Rose’s concerns. We were concerned that the fee did not appear to be optional, and that the information provided by the health authority regarding the purpose of the fee indicated it was allocated not only for services to clients but for facility improvements, in this case the purchase of an emergency generator. This did not appear to fall under the Ministry of Health’s policy for allowable charges. VCHA acknowledged that this fee was not consistent with ministry policy regarding permitted optional charges. We asked VCHA to review the matter and to consider whether reimbursement for some portions of the fee might be appropriate in the circumstances.

VCHA later confirmed it had followed up with the facility to ensure the monthly facility fee would be made optional and would comply with ministry policy concerning additional charges. An agreement was also reached to reimburse residents who had been paying the fee in an amount equivalent to the portion of the fee allocated for an emergency generator. Because VCHA had taken steps to ensure the facility’s monthly fees were in compliance with ministry policy and to ensure residents were reimbursed for fees charged for facility improvements, we considered the complaint settled.

Category Health, Seniors
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2011
Location The Lower Mainland