Government expands Health Care Homes trial

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Health minister Greg Hunt has announced an expansion of the Health Care Homes trial.

Under the initiative, initially adopted by former health minister Sussan Ley, GPs are the central point of coordinated care for patients with chronic disease.

Patients with two or more chronic conditions – such as diabetes, arthritis, heart and lung conditions – are eligible to enrol at a Health Care Home to receive integrated, team-based care.

One in every two Australians now has a chronic health condition and one in four has two or more.

Patients have their own care team, which may include their GP, a practice nurse, their specialist, physiotherapist, dietician and pharmacist, with Health Care Homes receiving a monthly payment from government for providing care in place of the usual Medicare payment for each individual service. 

"Rather than treating problems as they arise, the focus of Health Care Homes is on helping patients to stay as well as possible and avoid having to go to hospital," said Mr Hunt.

The new trials are in a number of regions, including: Perth North; Northern Territory; Brisbane North; Nepean Blue Mountains; Western Sydney Hunter, New England and Central Coast; South Eastern Melbourne; Tasmania; Country South Australia; and, Adelaide.