Primary care reform in the Canadian health system

Added April 26, 2020

Citation: Carter R, Riverin B, Levesque J, et al. The impact of primary care reform on health system performance in Canada: a systematic review. BMC Health Services Research 2016; 16: 324

What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic is placing a great strain on health services. Existing research on primary care reform may provide information to ease this.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for research evaluating the effects of primary care reform as a result of new organizational or payment models in three provinces of Canada (Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec). They restricted their search to studies published between 2000 and September 2015. They included 14 studies, which focused on the effects of new payment models in Ontario (9 studies) and the effects of team-based aspects of primary care reforms in Quebec and Alberta focused (5).

What was found: Team-based models of care led to a decrease in emergency department visits.

There was low quality evidence that team-based models, blended capitation models and pay-for-performance incentives led to small and sometimes non-significant improvements in processes of care.

What’s uncertain: The generalisability of the results to other settings and populations is uncertain.


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