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  • Writer's pictureKatherine DeClerq

Names of Ontario health-care clinics found to have extra-billed being kept secret

March 22, 2024

NDP demand response to billing complaints

The names of physicians and facilities found to have engaged in extra-billing for health services are being kept secret, with advocates arguing this lack of transparency could impact public trust in the health-care system.

Data obtained by CTV News Toronto through a freedom of information request found that 183 complaints were made about extra-billing in Ontario between January 2021 and Dec. 30, 2022.

Of those complaints, 49 were found to have contravened the Commitment to the Future of Medicare Act (CFMA).

These contraventions included extra-billing for health services that should have been covered under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) to the tune of just over $68,000.

But the physicians or facilities that charged patients for these services are unknown. The government redacted the service providers’ names, as well as the facility name.

They argued the disclosure of the records could prejudice the competitive position of a person or organization, and therefore, are exempt from freedom of information laws.

CTV News Toronto is currently appealing to obtain the information in part.

When asked why the information could not be disclosed, a spokesperson for the minister of health said that violations related to extra-billing may be unintentional or the result of a misinterpretation by a provider or staff.

“When a CFMA investigation finds a provider to be in violation of the CFMA, the ministry works with the provider to give them the opportunity to be in compliance with the Act, so they can continue their operations,” they said in a statement.

The ministry also argued the information cannot be disclosed by law.


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