FAQs: Health Care Homes

This page contains FAQ's for the Health Care Homes services.

Page last updated: 05 September 2016

Who will benefit from Health Care Homes? Am I eligible for the new services?

If I am enrolled with a Health Care Home will I be able to see another doctor?
How does this affect my access to allied health services?
Where will Health Care Homes be located?
Which health care providers can offer Health Care Home services?
How will Health Care Homes support Indigenous patients with chronic and complex conditions?
When will Health Care Homes begin delivering services?
What funding has the Government committed?

Who will benefit from Health Care Homes? Am I eligible for the new services?

During this initial stage, Health Care Home services will be limited to Medicare-eligible patients with two or more complex or chronic conditions. Health Care Homes will be provided with a patient identification tool that will be used to assess eligibility for Health Care Home services and the level of care required. Practices offering Health Care Home services will be identified on this website and those practices will be able to offer you more detail of how you can undergo a brief assessment for eligibility once services commence from 1 July 2017.

If I am enrolled with a Health Care Home will I be able to see another doctor?

In the first instance, every effort should be made by the patient to receive care from the Health Care Home with which they are enrolled. Chronic conditions are by their very nature ongoing illnesses, so the Health Care Home has been designed to encourage a long term relationship between patients and their health care providers to ensure continuity of care that is designed around the needs of the individual patient.

It is however understood that there may be times when you may be unable to attend your Health Care Home for one reason or another, for example, you may be travelling. Enrolled patients will still have regular access to Medicare services at these times and are able to attend another general practice or Aboriginal Medical Service when these instances arise.

How does this affect my access to allied health services?

Payment amounts and mechanisms for allied health remain unchanged under the Health Care Home model, meaning patients will still have access to allied health chronic disease management items. Health Care Home guidelines will however encourage care coordinators to work more closely with allied health providers to share information and to deliver services designed around individual patients’ needs.

Where will Health Care Homes be located?

Health Care Homes will initially be rolled out in selected geographical regions based on Primary Health Network boundaries. These regions include:

  • Perth North PHN
  • Adelaide PHN
  • Country South Australia PHN
  • Brisbane North PHN
  • Western Sydney PHN
  • Hunter New England and Central Coast PHN
  • South Eastern Melbourne PHN
  • Tasmania PHN
  • Northern Territory PHN
  • Nepean Blue Mountains PHN

The process by which practices in these regions can apply to become a Health Care Home is currently being finalised.
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Map: Health Care Homes Stage 1 Roll out - PHN Regions (PDF 687 KB)
Alternative text for the Health Care Homes map (Txt 1 KB)

Which health care providers can offer Health Care Home services?

The majority of Health Care Homes will be general practices and Aboriginal Medical Services. However, in some instances, for example in Indigenous or remote communities where primary health care services are provided by Aboriginal Medical Services or nurse led clinics, these services may also become Health Care Homes.

An Expression of Interest process will occur in late 2016, asking practices in the selected regions to nominate their interest in becoming a Health Care Home. Further detail on eligibility, timeframes and training will be provided ahead of that time.

How will Health Care Homes support Indigenous patients with chronic and complex conditions?

Health Care Homes will build on existing models of chronic disease care in Aboriginal community controlled health services (ACCHS), and further aid general practices to increase their focus on chronic disease management for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The implementation of Health Care Home services will allow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with multiple chronic and complex conditions to enrol with their local ACCHS or general practice to have an individual health care plan tailored directly to their needs.

Where this is not already happening, Health Care Homes will support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to have their health care coordinated, from GP and specialist visits through to medicine scripts, blood pressure checks, physiotherapy, podiatry and other allied health services. This includes non-Medicare funded services such as those provided by state, territory and local governments, as well as the community health and private sectors.

When will Health Care Homes begin delivering services?

Health Care Home services will be delivered in implementation sites from 1 July 2017 until 30 June 2019. Further rollout of Health Care Homes will be informed by the results of an evaluation of stage 1 implementation and future consideration by Government.

What funding has the Government committed?

Health Care Homes will largely be funded from existing resources, such as chronic disease items provided by GPs. Approximately $93 million in redirected MBS funding over the 2017/18 – 2018/19 service delivery period will support flexible and innovative clinical service delivery to improve the long term management of patients with chronic and complex conditions. Bundled, periodic payments will be provided to practices.

The Government will also invest an additional $21.3 million over the next three years to establish the design principles, IT systems and provide the training needed to assist health care providers to transition to the new system.