Bupa has announced that its Queensland-based customers living with mental illness now have access to a range of new out-of-hospital care options.
The company has announced a new partnership with leading community-managed specialist mental health service provider, Mind Australia.
The Mind Care Choices program is delivered as an outreach model of care that can be accessed at a clinic, in an individual’s own home, over the phone or via video conference with no out-of-pocket costs.
Bupa said it established this partnership recognising that 87 per cent of its customers would prefer to receive mental health care in the community or the comfort of their own home.
It said research suggests a 'balanced care' model that includes community-based mental health support services as a complement to hospital care, can help improve continuity of care, adherence to treatment and quality of life.
According to Nirasha Parsotam, Bupa’s head of Health System Strategy and Integration, “We believe this service meets the real demand for alternatives to the traditional psychiatrist led, hospital-based model of care with the ultimate goal of helping patients live happy and fulfilling lives in the community.
“We are extremely pleased to offer our Queensland customers access to this program which is already delivering promising results."
Since the QLD pilot started in January this year, 52 members have enrolled in the program and 17 have been discharged back to the management of their GP.
Esther Dancewicz, occupational therapist at Mind Australia, said from a clinical perspective the program focuses on promoting the right words, actions, and thoughts to be incorporated into people’s lives.
“It’s all about supporting patients and giving them the power to see their lives as worthy of having goals – daily goals, weekly goals, five-year goals, family goals, career goals, better life goals.
“These goals and ongoing community integration give them the assurance that their life is unique, valued, and worthy of being shared with the world,” said Ms Dancewicz.
The program is available to eligible Bupa customers residing in the South East QLD local government areas of City of Brisbane, Ipswich City, Logan City, Redland City and the City of Gold Coast.