Health Care Homes to better coordinate care for chronic conditions

  31 March 2016  NWMPHN   

People living with multiple chronic conditions stand to receive better coordinated and more effective health care following the announcement of key primary health care reforms by the Federal Government.

The ‘Health Care Homes’ model to be trialled as part of the Healthier Medicare package will allow a person with more than one eligible chronic condition to nominate a general practice or Aboriginal Medical Service as their Health Care Home.

Health Care Homes will co-ordinate all of the medical, allied health and out-of-hospital services required as part of a tailored health care plan, which will be developed in partnership with the patient and their family.

About 20% of Australians live with more than one chronic condition such as diabetes, heart disease or mental health, and NWMPHN CEO Adj/Associate Professor Christopher Carter says the package has the model has the potential to greatly improve their care experiences.

“People with multiple conditions often need to see numerous health professionals, who are not necessarily aware of all the treatment they are receiving elsewhere,” A/Prof Carter said. “This fragmentation increases the risk of inconsistent or poor quality care and makes navigating the system effectively more difficult.

“Health Care Homes are able to reduce these risks by ensuring all care is coordinated, consistent and centred around the ongoing health needs of the person involved.”

North Western Melbourne PHN has been a supporter of the Health Care Homes model for several years, with evidence from the US showing the model can improve a range of health outcomes, including access to care and better management of chronic and complex conditions.

“We need innovative solutions if we are to effectively manage the rise of chronic conditions in Australia – Health Care Homes have the potential to be one of those solutions and we look forward to seeing more information in the coming weeks.”