The Assistive Devices Program was instituted by The Ontario Ministry of Health to help patients purchase the equipment they need to maintain and improve health and independence. Devices range from medical apparatus, to wheelchairs and communication aids. Devices are typically prescribed by licensed health professionals, but each category comes with its own eligibility criteria and application process. Eligibility criteria are specific to the device classification. APD organizes products into categories and device types.
ADP Device Organization
ADP organizes all devices into eleven categories:
- Communication Devices
- Diabetes Supplies
- Enteral Feeding Supplies
- Hearing Devices
- Orthotic Devices
- Ostomy Supplies
- Pressure Modification Devices
- Prosthetic Devices (Breast, Limb,Ocular, Maxillofacial)
- Respiratory Devices
- Visual Devices
- Mobility Devices (Wheelchairs, Positioning and Ambulation Aids)
Each category is further subdivided: it may have several groups, and each group may contain several device types. For example, the category “Mobility Devices” contains three groups: Ambulation Aids, Wheelchairs, and Positioning Devices (Seating). Ambulation Aids is further subdivided into several device types, and each device type will contain one or more products covered by ADP.
The structure is not strict, however, and some categories may have a slightly different organizational structure. Communication Aids, for example, is subdivided directly into Device Types, and foregoes Device Groups.
Who qualifies to receive ADP funded devices?
The Assistive Devices Program is specific to Ontario, and anyone with a valid Ontario Health Card is eligible to apply. Coverage is the same for all Ontario residence, regardless of their financial situation. ADP covers 75% of the equipment cost, and only covers equipment or supplies that are needed for for six months or longer. For people who need more financial aid than ADP is able to cover, there are several volunteer and charity organizations, including the following organizations:
How does a new device get on the ADP list?
The path to being accepted onto the ADP list is not straightforward; there is not formal application procedure for device manufacturers. Instead, device listings are generally demand driven, where one or more medical professional have the need to prescribe a device and will apply for the device to be covered by ADP. Each category has its own procedure for accepting new products on the ADP list. Some guiding questions can be used for all products:
- Which category does my product fit into, and what device type should it be listed as?
- Is there a suitable vendor in Ontario, or do we meet the criteria ourselves?
- Will medical professionals want to prescribe my device, and is the demand high enough to warrant an application?