Article by: ADAM HURAS Legislature Bureau
“There are details in there that bear examination,”-David Coon
From left, Horizon Health Network Dr. Pamela Jarrett, Medavie CEO Bernard Lord, former Health Minister Victor Boudreau and Nurses Association of New Brunswick president Brenda Kinney prepare for a photo at the announcement that Medavie will take over telecare and extra-mura home programs in the province on Jan. 1.
The New Brunswick government could end up making money on its deal with Medavie if the private, non-profit company decides to set up extra-mural services in other jurisdictions outside the region.The details of the contract, revealed earlier this week, lay out an “honorarium” that must be paid to the province if Medavie starts up home health care services elsewhere outside of Atlantic Canada.
A similar fee would also be paid to the province if Medavie is involved in integrating ambulance services, para-medicine, telehealth or home health care services elsewhere.
The contract lays out a “one-time payment of 15 cents per eligible patient in a catchment area” for any contract that Medavie signs with a health authority.A catchment area of a million people would net the provincial government $150,000.
“If Medavie establishes this type of service in North America then New Brunswick is recognized for the intellectual capital that we have invested in this,” Deputy Health Minister Tom Maston told the Telegraph-Journal in an email when asked about the clause in the contract.
Medavie Health Services New Brunswick president Richard Losier told the Telegraph-Journal in an emailed statement that it expects interest from other jurisdictions in duplicating its deal with the province.“While there are no formal plans to expand this initiative outside of New Brunswick at this time, we do know that other jurisdictions will be looking to the province as it delivers one of the most forward-thinking models of primary health care in the country,” Losier said.
Medavie Health Services is already established across Canada and in Massachusetts.It provides paramedicine programs, medical emergency and patient transfer dispatch in the Saskatoon area, operates separate services in Sylvan Lake and Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, and two ambulance services in southwestern Ontario.
Medavie also has the U.S.-based subsidiary MedCare Emergency Health that operates ambulance services in western Massachusetts.
Green Party Leader David Coon said he was puzzled by the clause’s inclusion in the contract, pledging to question the government on the honorarium when the provincial legislature soon returns to regular sitting days.
“There are details in there that bear examination,” Coon said.