RACGP aged care clinical guide (Silver Book)

Silver Book - Part C

General practice business models with RACFs

Last revised: 22 Jul 2023

There are a variety of general practice business models with RACFs. This chapter outlines five different types of general practice business models.

In the continuity model, GPs continue to provide care for their long-term patients after they move into an RACF. Greater continuity of care has been associated with lower hospital admissions and patient mortality.1 The continuity model is the RACGP-preferred model for the provision of primary care for older people.

In the RACF panel model, GPs accept new patients in nearby aged care facilities or see all the RACF patients for their practice, allowing them to continuously provide care to a number of RACF patients, referred to as a ‘panel’.2

In the aged care-specific general practice model, GPs regularly provide scheduled care in RACFs. These GPs tend to cluster their patients in a few facilities where they have established a relationship with RACF administration and staff and have substantial panel sizes.

Some RACFs have established relationships with specific GPs to take most patients in a facility who lack a GP willing to provide ongoing care.3

People living in RACFs have high rates of transfer to hospital. Numerous programs have been developed to reduce the rate of acute care service use that are funded by the Australian states and territories that provide these services.

  1. Dyer SM, Suen J, Williams H, et al. Impact of relational continuity of primary care in aged care: A systematic review. BMC Geriatr 2022;22(1):579.
  2. Reed RL. Models of general practitioner services in residential aged care facilities. Aust Fam Physician 2015;44(4):176–79.
  3. Haines TP, Palmer AJ, Tierney P, Si L, Robinson AL. A new model of care and in‐house general practitioners for residential aged care facilities: A stepped wedge, cluster randomised trial. MJA 2020;212(9):409–15.
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