Ontario Virtual Health Care Program
On November 15, 2019, the Ontario government announced that patients can use their own electronic device such as a smart phone or tablet to book a videoconference appointment with approved physicians whose medical fees will be paid by OHIP at the same rate as an in-person office visit. This Ontario Virtual Health Care Program has been enabled to support continuity of care within established physician-patient relationships. The teleconference participants can be located anywhere that internet service is available being easily connected using an acceptable telemedicine platform such as the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN).
Recognizing that there are costs in addition to OHIP fees for the technology and supporting services needed to provide the convenience and time savings offered by telemedicine, the Ontario government has classified virtual care as an uninsured health service which is not part of the OHIP/ Schedule of Benefits. Therefore, even though the physician’s fees are fully paid by OHIP, it is permissible for patients to purchase the supporting services needed to avail themselves of the type of virtual care they want. To facilitate virtual care for patients using Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) therapy for treatment of sleep apnea, sleeplab.com offers patients and their physicians the PAP Videoconference Support Program.