A decade after PCBF was implemented in Alberta, CHAA’s comprehensive study on its effectiveness and performance concluded that an acuity-based model is still optimal for funding contracted operators and AHS to deliver care.

We also recommended some adjustments to PCBF – to better reflect today’s care environment and emerging changes in the populations we serve. Many of CHAA’s recommendations were well articulated in the province’s 2021 Facility Based Continuing Care Review, and are now being evaluated in a thorough provincial review of the PCBF model.

Three years of the COVID-19 pandemic have also generated new insights across Canada regarding how care homes across the country are funded, staffed, and supported. These learnings, which were captured in a provincial audit (COVID-19 in Continuing Care Facilities), are also being incorporated into Alberta’s funding model review.

Strengths and shortcomings of PCBF

CHAA’s study reached the following conclusions about PCBF:

  • Appropriateness: The inputs and assessment tools are still a good foundation for measuring resident health needs and acuity levels.

  • Alignment between acuity and hours of care: The policy decisions from nearly a decade ago to fund 3.02 hours of direct care (on average) per day, per resident, don’t give staff enough time with today's resident population. This conclusion has also been drawn by other studies within Canada. CHAA’s advocacy messages on this topic have been well received and there are already funding discussions and increases being implemented in Alberta.

  • Flexibility for facility size and type: While PCBF can work well in some larger facilities, it is not as well suited to meet the staffing and operational needs of small care homes and buildings. A similar conclusion was drawn by Alberta’s excellent Facility-Based Continuing Care Review in 2021.

Related content

Learn more about the funding model in Alberta.