Chronic care finds new home in Medicare

 

The Turnbull Government is strengthening Medicare to deliver better health outcomes for Australians.

As one of our first priorities this term, we are today announcing the ten regions across the country that will participate in stage one of our revolutionary Health Care Homes model.

Health Care Homes is a better way of delivering Medicare for Australians with chronic illness.

It will give Australians a local health care team – led by their GP – that they can trust to coordinate their health care needs throughout the year to ensure patients remain happy, healthy and out-of-hospital.

Health Care Homes is a better way to remunerate general practice that recognises the commitment and diligence they show every day in managing time-consuming chronic conditions.

It will allow doctors and their teams to focus on delivering quality improvements to patient care when they need it, no matter how often it’s needed, without the rigid constraints of Medicare’s current fee-for-service model.

This has never been more important, with one in two Australians living with a chronic condition and one in five managing two or more.

This coincides with 20 per cent of patients making up over 60 per cent of Medicare costs.

That’s why we’re investing nearly $120 million to roll out the first stage of Health Care Homes, including over $90 million in payments to support patient care and $21 million for infrastructure, training and evaluation.

The first stage will initially benefit up to 65,000 patients across 200 GP clinics and Aboriginal Medical Services Australia-wide and will be evaluated to enable refinements to the model prior to a national roll-out.

This will include the Primary Health Network regions of: Western Sydney (NSW), Perth North (WA), Tasmania (TAS), Hunter New England and Central Coast (NSW), Brisbane North (QLD), South Eastern Melbourne (VIC), Adelaide (SA), Northern Territory (NT), Nepean-Blue Mountains (NSW) and Country South Australia (SA).

Health Care Homes is a model of primary care designed by – and long-campaigned for – by doctors.

A model of care that could have already been benefiting Australians with chronic disease, had Labor not deliberately ignored the recommendations of their own health reform commission in 2009.

No Government has invested more in Medicare than the Turnbull Coalition to ensure access to universal health care for all Australians.

We are determined to ensure every dollar lands as close to the patient as possible.

Because a healthier patient means a healthier Medicare. And that’s what Health Care Homes is all about.