AMA calls for adequate funding for health care home

The Federal Government’s landmark Health Care Homes (HCH) reform is at risk of collapse because of a lack of funding, the AMA has warned.

Earlier this year the Government announced the trial of the Health Care Homes initiative, involving 65,000 patients and 200 medical practices in 10 regions across the country. Under the Government’s plans, practices will receive monthly bundled payments to manage patients with chronic and complex health conditions.

Last week the Department of Health released further detail on its website outlining that the bundled payments will vary from $591 for chronically ill patients who can largely self-manage their condition to $1267 for those who need more intensive care and $1795 for those with the most complex health demands.

But the details of the trial have reinforced suspicions that the Government is undertaking Health Care Homes primarily as a cost cutting exercise. AMA Vice President, Dr Tony Bartone, said that, if appropriately funded, Health Care Homes could support GPs to keep patients healthier and out of hospital, but added the Government needed the goodwill of general practitioners if its trial was to succeed.

“The modelling is concerning and potentially leaves the whole program at risk of falling over because of being underfunded from the beginning. That goodwill will evaporate significantly if there is not the appropriate funding,” he warned.

Read more in Australian Medicine

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