06 November 2016

Government fails to deliver on Health Care Homes

The Federal Government’s Health Care Homes model is inadequately funded and will not improve health outcomes for millions of Australians living with chronic and complex conditions, according to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).

The RACGP has declared its’ disappointment following the release of details about practice eligibility, patient eligibility, and payment systems for the Health Care Homes model.

RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel said the details released on Friday evening confirm that there continues to be a gap between the investment required, and the commitment made by Government.

“Evidence from the National Health Performance Authority tells us that 12.5% of patients account for 41% of health expenditure, and require on average 51 MBS services per year.

“Unfortunately, these patients - who would benefit most from coordinated care - will be disadvantaged under the Health Care Home model.

“Under the announced model support payments for chronic disease management will be bundled, with patients only eligible for five non-chronic disease related services per year.

“On their sixth and subsequent non-chronic disease related visits, they will either have to pay full out of pocket costs for the service, or they will wind up in an emergency department.

“Expecting after hours care inclusive is an affront – it only serves to discourage continuity of care within the medical home,” he said.

Dr Seidel also expressed disappointment at the surreptitious release of the information on a Friday evening.

“For a long time the RACGP and other health bodies have been actively offering to work with the Government on the development of an appropriate model.

“The RACGP was not consulted in this case, nor advised that the information was forthcoming.

“The Federal Government’s Health Care Homes model is not representative of the recommended RACGP model, as we outlined in the RACGP Vision for general practice and a sustainable healthcare system released in September 2015.

“The Federal Government absolutely must fund the Health Care Homes model properly if it is going to succeed,” he said.

For further information about the RACGP Vision for general practice and a sustainable healthcare system visit the RACGP website.

Media enquiries

Journalists and media outlets seeking comment and information from the RACGP can contact:

John Ronan

Senior Media Advisor