Greg Hunt

Federal Member for Flinders | Minister for Health | Minister for Sport

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Better health care for people with chronic conditions

Friday, 1 December 2017

Up to 65,000 Australians will soon be receiving improved care for their ongoing chronic conditions, with the expansion of the Turnbull Government’s trial of Health Care Homes.

An additional 168 general practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) will offer Health Care Home services from today, building on the 22 clinics already in the trial. 

Additional practices are expected to sign on in the coming weeks.

Patients with two or more chronic conditions – such as diabetes, arthritis and heart and lung conditions – are eligible to enrol at a Health Care Home to receive integrated, team-based care.

Each Health Care Home patient will have their own care team, which may include their GP, a practice nurse, their specialist, physiotherapist, dietician and pharmacist.

This type of care puts the patients’ needs and goals first, and helps them take more control in managing their health.

Rather than treating problems as they arise, the focus of Health Care Homes is on helping patients to stay as well as possible and avoid having to go to hospital. 

Health Care Homes will receive a monthly payment from the Government for providing care to each patient, instead of the usual Medicare payment for each service. 

Enrolment of patients will occur over the next 12 months, as practices adjust their processes and business systems for the Health Care Homes model. 

This trial of Health Care Homes is a key part of the Turnbull Government’s plans to strengthen Medicare and improve the effectiveness of primary health care, including chronic disease management and prevention.

One in every two Australians now has a chronic health condition, and one in four has two or more chronic health conditions. This is creating a major burden on individuals and families as well as the health system.

The Health Care Home trial builds on the high quality care services already provided by many general practices and ACCHS for people with debilitating long term conditions. 

The Health Care Homes participating in the trial are located in the following regions:
• Perth North
• Northern Territory
• Brisbane North
• Nepean Blue Mountains
• Western Sydney
• Hunter, New England and Central Coast
• South Eastern Melbourne
• Tasmania
• Country South Australia
• Adelaide

For more information: www.health.gov.au//internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/health-care-homes 

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