” A Health Care Home is an existing Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) — or Aboriginal clinic or health service — that cares for people with long-term conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, heart and lung conditions.
Mainstream general practices can also be Health Care Homes.
Under a two-year trial beginning in late 2017, up to 200 practices around Australia, including ACCHS, will become Health Care Homes.”
Download the Health Care Homes brochure for Indigenous patients
” Up to 65,000 Australians will soon be receiving improved care for their ongoing chronic conditions, with the expansion of the Turnbull Government’s trial of Health Care Homes.
An additional 168 general practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) will offer Health Care Home services from today, building on the 22 clinics already in the trial.
Additional practices are expected to sign on in the coming weeks.
Patients with two or more chronic conditions – such as diabetes, arthritis and heart and lung conditions – are eligible to enrol at a Health Care Home to receive integrated, team-based care.”
The Hon Greg Hunt Minister for Health
Download Press Release
Health Care Homes underway
In an important reform for primary care in Australia, close to 200 Health Care Homes around Australia are now enrolling patients.
These practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) will provide better coordinated and more flexible care for up to 65,000 Australians who are living with chronic and complex health conditions.
The stage one trial of Health Care Homes will run until November 2019.
What is a Health Care Home?
A Health Care Home is an existing Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) — or Aboriginal clinic or health service — that cares for people with long-term conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, heart and lung conditions.
Mainstream general practices can also be Health Care Homes.
Under a two-year trial beginning in late 2017, up to 200 practices around Australia, including ACCHS, will become Health Care Homes.
Health Care Homes is an Australian Government-funded program. It’s about giving people with long-term conditions the best possible care for their health needs.
Here are some of the good things about Health Care Homes:
My own care plan — my doctor talked to me about my health needs. Then we came up with a plan which suits me and my health.
My own care team — my care team at my clinic are there for me if I want to have a yarn or if I have any health worries.
Connecting my care — I still see my doctor and Aboriginal health worker. When I need to, I go to the physio or my heart or kidney doctor. But my care team makes sure that all the care I receive is connected.
Care that’s right for you
If you have long-term health conditions, there are a lot of things to keep an eye on symptoms, your medicines, visits to the clinic and to other doctors, like your heart or kidney doctor.
Wouldn’t it be good if there was one team looking after all this for you?
That’s what Health Care Homes is all about. If you become a Health Care Homes’ patient, you will have your own care team.
Your care plan
The care team will talk to you about a care plan. This plan contains all the care you receive from your usual doctor, Aboriginal health worker and others. It includes health goals — like eating healthy food, quitting smoking or keeping an eye on your diabetes.
With this plan, all the people who look after you can see the same information about your health anytime they need to.
So can you and your family members or carers.
That way, when you see your heart doctor or kidney doctor you won’t have to explain about any new medicines or anything that’s changed since your last visit. Your doctor can see it all on your care plan.
What if I like everything just the way it is?
You can keep going to your clinic and still see the doctors and Aboriginal health workers who know you.
You don’t have to change anything that you like about your care.
But if you become a Health Care Homes’ patient, your care will be better organised. And if something changes in the future, you and your care team can change your care or medicines in a way that works for you.
For more information:
Talk to your Aboriginal health worker or clinic about Health Care Homes.
Coordinated care for people with chronic conditions
One in four Australians have at least two chronic health conditions1. For these people, our health system can seem hard to navigate and disjointed. Different health professionals and services work in isolation from each other; care is often un-coordinated; and patients can find it difficult to get to different services and appointments.
A Health Care Home is a general practice or Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) that coordinates care for patients with chronic and complex conditions.
People with chronic and complex conditions, who could benefit from Health Care Homes’ flexible, coordinated care can enrol as Health Care Homes patients.
What are the benefits for patients?
- My care team — you have a committed care team, led by your usual doctor.
- My shared care plan — with the support of your care team, you will develop a shared care plan. This plan helps you have a greater say in your care; and makes it easier for all the people who look after you, both inside and outside the Health Care Home, to coordinate your care.
- Better access and flexibility — with a care team behind you, you have better access to care. Health Care Homes can also be more responsive and flexible. If you want to talk to someone in your care team, you won’t always need an appointment with your GP. You might call or message the practice team. Or they might call you to see how you’re going.
- Better coordinated — your care team will do more to coordinate all your care from your usual doctor, specialists and other health professionals.
Can I become a Health Care Home patient?
- have a Medicare card
- have a My Health Record or are willing to get one
- would benefit from the Health Care Home model of care
- and are assessed as eligible by a participating Health Care Home
then you could enrol as a patient.
If you would like to become a Health Care Home patient, ask your GP if their practice is a Health Care Homes.
More about Health Care Homes
What will it cost me if I become a Health Care Homes’ patient?
Ask your doctor or practice receptionist about this. Some people don’t have any out-of-pocket expenses when they go to see their doctor; while others are asked to pay a contribution. This will be the same under Health Care Homes.
What if I don’t want to change my care? I like everything just the way it is.
Joining Health Care Homes is voluntary. You don’t have to become a Health Care Home patient.
If you do sign up for Health Care Homes, you can keep seeing the doctors you know and trust.
The benefit of Health Care Homes is that it makes it easier for all the people who look after you — from your doctor to your specialist doctors and others — to share information about your health and to coordinate care based on your needs.
My doctor and my usual clinic already coordinate my care. Why should I sign up for Health Care Homes?
Doctors and practices already work hard to coordinate care for their patients.
The Health Care Homes’ trial gives practices the opportunity to improve the services they provide and the flexibility of these services.
For example, Health Care Homes’ patients can see their practice nurse, without needing to see their GP for every visit.
Health Care Homes will also give patients better access to appointments with either their GP or another member of their care team.
No two patients are the same. Health Care Homes helps doctors and clinics tailor care to each patient.
The government pays Health Care Homes in a different way, to reflect the responsive, flexible way in which they look after their patients.
I already have a GP management plan, a team care management plan or mental health treatment plan. What will happen to these if I join Health Care Homes?
These plans will form the basis of your new shared care plan. For example, if you have a GP management plan, you will continue to be eligible for up to five allied health services each calendar year.
With Health Care Homes, can I see my doctor whenever I want to?
Some Health Care Homes will keep their appointment schedules free at certain times, so that Health Care Homes’ patients can drop in, or get an appointment that day.
But every Health Care Home will be different. Ask your doctor or practice receptionist how this will work in your practice.
If after-hours access is important to you, ask about this too.
Another advantage of Health Care Homes is that patients may not always have to physically come in to the practice to receive care. Instead, patients may be able to Skype, call or email the practice.
If I am enrolled in a Health Care Home can I see another doctor?
When you are at home, you should always try to go to your Health Care Home. If you are travelling, however, you can see another doctor.
What if I get really sick? Or go to hospital?
If you get really sick, your care team will continue to care for you. They may also work with you to adjust your care plan as needed.
If you go to hospital, the care team will follow up with the hospital.
How does Health Care Homes fit in with state-funded isolated travel and accommodation allowance payments?
Being a Health Care Homes’ patient will not affect your eligibility for any state-based isolated travel and accommodation allowance payments.
Can I stop being a Health Care Homes’ patient?
Yes, you can withdraw from your Health Care Home. However, it is a good idea to first talk to your care team if you are unhappy about any aspect of your care. They might be able to help.
If you withdraw from Health Care Homes, you will not be eligible to reapply during the stage one trial, which runs from October 2017 to December 2019.
I am Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander. Will my care change under Health Care Homes?
If your local ACCHS or the practice you usually visit becomes a Health Care Home you can ask your doctor or practice receptionist for more information about Health Care Homes.
A brochure for Indigenous consumers is also available Fact sheets and brochures web page.
If you enrol as a Health Care Home patient then your care team at the practice will coordinate your care, from visits to the GP, through to specialist visits, scripts, blood pressure checks, physiotherapy, podiatry and other health services.
Each Health Care Home will also work with the integrated team care (ITC) program arrangements for chronic care; and will coordinate other health services provided by state, territory and local governments or by community groups.
More information for consumers is available on the fact sheets and brochures web page.
For health professionals’ information, go to Health Care Homes for health professionals.