Health Care Homes trial starting October
A coordinated approach to chronic illness will be a step closer when the Department of Health commences trials of its Health Care Home program in October.
Two hundred practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) around Australia will participate, with 20 practices beginning Health Care Home services on 1 October 2017, and another 180 starting 1 December 2017.
According to the Department of Health, a Health Care Home will be a general practice or ACCHS that coordinates care for patients with chronic and complex conditions, helping them to navigate the health system and receive consistent care and support. Given that many health professionals and services work in isolation from each other, care can be a disjointed experience for patients, with no-one taking a coordinating role to ensure the patient’s treatment and medications are managed holistically. The Health Care Homes program is designed to address this.
Eligible patients enrolled in the program can select their own GP, who is familiar with their health conditions and priorities, to lead a care team to look after them.
Together, the patient and care team develop and follow a shared care plan designed to:
- set health goals;
- include strategies to help each patient better manage their conditions and improve their quality of life;
- identify the best local providers who can meet each patient’s needs.
In line with this plan, Health Care Homes will also coordinate that patient’s care. For example, if a patient sees their specialist or goes to hospital, their Health Care Home will follow up. That way, they know about all the care that person receives, both inside and outside the Health Care Home.
Care will be integrated across primary and acute care as required.
A patient can enrol to become a Health Care Patient if they:
- have a Medicare card;
- have a My Health Record or are willing to get one;
- would benefit from the Health Care Home model of care;
- are assessed as eligible by a participating Health Care Home.
They must then speak with their GP and ask if their practice is a Health Care Home.
Each Health Care Home will also work with the integrated team care (ITC) program arrangements for chronic care; and will coordinate other health services provided by state, territory and local governments or by community groups.
For more health professionals’ information, including funding models, bundled payments and how to participate, go to the Health Care Homes for health professionals page.
Originally published here.
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