Long-term Care Facilities Survey (LTCFS)

Detailed information for April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014





Record number:


This survey collects data on non-acute health care facilities that provide medical or professional nursing supervision or some higher level of care to residents.

Data release - May 4, 2015


The Long-term Care Facilities Survey (LTCFS) is a cost recovery survey that collects data on residential care facilities of a higher level of care. The survey is collected for statistical purposes for Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information.


  • Disability
  • Health
  • Health and disability among seniors
  • Health care services
  • Older adults and population aging (formerly Seniors)

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population includes all long-term care facilities in all provinces in Canada except Quebec that are not part of a hospital. These are facilities of four beds or more providing non acute health care to residents requiring at least some level of medical or professional nursing supervision. The facilities in scope can provide care for the Aged, the Physically Challenged or Disabled, the Developmentally Delayed, the Psychiatrically Disabled, the Addicted or the Emotionally Disturbed Children.

Provincial and territorial ministries of health and/or social services are annually requested to update the inventory of residential care facilities. The list of long-term care facilities is drawn from that inventory.

Instrument design

The LTCFS use the same questionnaire as the Residential Care Facilities Survey (see record number 3210). The collection of data on residential care facilities began with an inventory in 1974 using an address list from Health Canada based on facilities receiving benefits from the Canada Assistance Plan (CAP). The questionnaire was designed and has not changed significantly since then. The electronic version of the questionnaire was developed in 2010.


This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

Data are collected for all units of the target population, therefore, no sampling is done.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2014-05-01 to 2014-10-15

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

An electronic version of the questionnaire is used for the LTCFS. The facilities are contacted by phone to provide their email address so they can participate in the survey. At the end of the collection period, facilities that did not complete the questionnaire are contacted by phone and encouraged to complete the questionnaire.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

Survey forms are edited in groups by province, principal characteristic and the number of beds in the facility to ensure consistency in reporting. Each form is compared section-by-section to previous years' reports from the facility. Significant changes such as an increase or decrease of 20% with no change in the number of beds are referred to the supervisor. If there is no indication that there has been a change in funding in the province, the supervisor arranges for a follow-up call to the facility. If a financial statement is returned with the survey submission, an effort is made to use the information in editing.

There are a number of on-line edits, most relating to an acceptable range for the cell and/or its relationship to data in another cell. Columns are automatically summed so that they can be compared with the total provided by the facility. Consistency checks are also built into the process.

A query is produced when a value falls outside the range specified in the edits. The supervisor handles queries by contacting the facility, or the provincial contact.


Imputation for each facility in a total or partial non-response situation was done by imputing the predicted value of a multi-variate regression using the GLM procedure in SAS for total income, expenditures and hours worked. Independent variables are the characteristics of the facility as provided by the provincial department of health. These characteristics include type of service, type of property, region or province, level of care and rated-bed capacity. The other cells were imputed by assigning them a weight corresponding to their percentage of these totals in similar facilities. Great care was taken to ensure that incomplete answers given by facilities were not replaced by estimates and that the overall results remained consistent.


Since the imputation is done for each facility and this is a census, data estimation is merely the sum of imputed or reported data for each published category. These categories are generally province, type of service and characteristics of the residents.

Quality evaluation

Year-to-year comparisons are done for some variables like response rate, revenues and expenditures, cost-per-resident day etc. As well, comparisons are also made within the file on key variables like type of residents versus type of facility.

Ratio evaluation (in addition to cost-per-resident day) is performed to ensure that key variables are within reasonable ranges (for example, the number of accumulated hours divided by the number of personnel yields hours per employee).

Data for several variables that were provided by the respondent, such as approved beds and principal characteristics of residents, are also compared with provincial data to ensure consistency.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects that could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

In order to prevent any data disclosure, confidentiality analysis is done using the Statistics Canada Generalized Disclosure Control System (G-Confid). G-Confid is used for primary suppression (direct disclosure) as well as for secondary suppression (residual disclosure). Direct disclosure occurs when the value in a tabulation cell is composed of or dominated by few enterprises while residual disclosure occurs when confidential information can be derived indirectly by piecing together information from different sources or data series.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology does not apply to this survey.

Data accuracy

Completion of the survey is a legal requirement under the Statistics Act. The survey's response rate was 85% of all long term care facilities for reference year 2014. These refer to facilities that answered any part of the questionnaire. However, the response rate varies by section of the questionnaire and about 63% of the facilities completed the entire questionnaire.


  • Concordance Table
    The concordance table is an internal Statistics Canada document used to map data from long-term care facilities' financial statements to corresponding cells in the questionnaire. By publishing these documents, Statistics Canada aims to shed light on the concepts of the survey for the benefit of researchers and the general public. Respondents to the questionnaire can also use the table to complete their questionnaire from their financial statements or other financial data.

    The concordance table is made of an alphabetical list of line items frequently found in the income statements of the long-term care facilities. These items are mapped to the corresponding questionnaire cell. Conversely, the list of cells is mapped to the corresponding line items. The items are provided in both official languages. However, some items were not translated because they are specific to certain provinces.
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