Comprehensive Primary Care - FHO Policies

Family First Health Family Health Organization (FFHC FHO)

Family Practice Physicians who work at Family First Health Centre are members of a Family Health Organization. A FHO is a physician compensation structure defined by the Provincial Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. Physicians of this group have committed to make every effort to offer their patients comprehensive primary care. This commitment includes offering patients extended hours for urgent non-emergency issues, working as a group to ensure patients always have access to primary care even during periods of leave, providing a wide range of in-office services such as lab work, and extended nursing care for chronic disease management. In this model patients are rostered to a doctor and make a commitment to their doctor to seek all their primary care from the group. This means that patients rostered to this group should not go to other public walk-in clinics or see primary care doctors. Visits to other doctors are charged to your roster physician.

Patients are expected to:

  1. Seek all primary care from Family First Health Centre. Your doctor is paid to provide your primary care medical services and if you seek care elsewhere (Urgent Care, Other Walk-in Clinics, Weight Loss Centres) your doctor is charged for your visit. If you are seeking a service you feel your doctor does not provide, then
    discuss with your doctor where you should seek those services; your doctor will provide you with a referral should your require those services. Anywhere you provide your health card that is not a hospital your doctor might be charged. Do not hesitate to seek care in emergency at the emergency department of a hospital. Do not hesitate to present to FFHC reception if you have an urgent concern.
  2. Treat staff with courtesy and respect. The doctor will not tolerate patients being disrespectful to their staff. The staff is expected to treat patients with professional courtesy and the same is expected of the patients. Relationships with patients will be terminated for abusive behaviour towards staff. If patients are
    dissatisfied with the treatment they receive from staff they may call the clinic manager to discuss it.
  3. Call to make an appointment. Your doctor prefers to see their own patients. The best way for this to be accomplished is if patients call for an appointment. If your physician is away or unable to offer you an appropriate appointment a member of the group will make an effort to try to accommodate your needs. If the call volume is high please leave a message as all calls are returned quickly during the business day hours.
  4. See your doctor in follow-up visits for problems. Do not wait for your physical to see your doctor with a laundry list of problems. Your doctor expects you to make an appointment and see them regularly to deal with your problems one at a time in a timely fashion.
  5. Physicals are for preventative care. Your doctor wants to proactively manage your health care and ensure you are participating in health screening and examination to ensure early detection and treatment of health issues.

    The physical is a 'well visit' that should be at the direction of the doctor; a time the doctor uses to ensure screening aspects of your health are well managed, including paps, breast exams, prostate exams, routine blood tests, physical examination, blood pressure, and lifestyle.

    Children should make well visits at the ages of: 1 week, 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12 months, 15 months, 18 months, then annually till age 20. Healthy adults should generally seek a physicals every 2 years between ages 20 - 50, then annually after 50. Patients with chronic illness should discuss with their doctor how frequent their appointments should be.

    Otherwise patients should come in regularly for follow-up visits to deal with individual problems as they come up.
  6. Arrive 15 minutes early for your appointment. In general we try very hard to keep all appointments exactly on time - this requires that patients arrive, register and are placed in the room by staff by the time the appointment starts. If you arrive at the desk at the time of the appointment you are making the doctor late for the rest of the appointments for the day. At times a patient might arrive in crisis and might medically require substantially more time than they were scheduled for - this can not be fully avoided and might make your doctor late.

    You doctor will refuse your appointment and charge you a missed appointment fee if you do not arrive early enough to register and be in the room on time. This fee is not insured by OHIP and you will be personally required to pay it before seeing your doctor for your next visit.
  7. Patients are expected to talk to their doctor about any concern they have. Do not hesitate to express to your doctors your reservations. If you want to change to a different doctor in the group you must discuss this with your doctor and ask him/her to arrange for another doctor to take over your care.
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