Supporting better health with annual health assessments
People with intellectual disability can get a health assessment once every year. The health assessment is supported by Medicare.
This health assessment is important. It can help the person with intellectual disability, their families and supporters, and doctors to better understand the person’s health. It also helps the person to access follow up services to identify and treat health issues.
If there are ongoing health concerns or chronic conditions, a health assessment can help make sure the person is getting the medication and care they need.
You can use a free evidence-based tool called the Comprehensive Health Assessment Program (CHAP) to support the annual health assessment. The CHAP promotes collaboration between the person with intellectual disability, their supporter or carer, and their family doctor or GP. It helps the doctor get the information they need for the assessment.
There is strong evidence that these assessments are an effective way to identify unmet health needs in people with intellectual disability. Read about what we are doing to improve implementation of annual health assessments for people with intellectual disability.
Easy Read Information
This Easy Read Information can help people with intellectual disability learn more about annual health assessments and the CHAP. It can also help them prepare for their appointment.
Where to get an annual health assessment
People with intellectual disability should go to their usual doctor for their annual health assessment. Going to the same doctor or clinic each time will help health professionals to understand the person’s health needs.
We recommend booking a long appointment for the annual health assessment and asking the practice if a practice nurse will be available to support it.
What happens at an annual health assessment
The health assessment can take up to an hour. The person may see a nurse during the assessment, as well as the doctor.
The health assessment may differ based on the person's needs. There is information available for doctors on MBS online about checks that need to be done in the assessment. The health professional may:
- check the person’s blood pressure, height and weight
- do a whole-body examination
- talk to the person and/or their supporters about the person’s health priorities and goals.
The doctor will let the person and/or their support team know if the person needs any follow-up care to look after the person’s health.
If the CHAP is being used to guide the assessment:
- the person, their family member and/or supporter fills in Part 1 of the CHAP before the appointment. This collects information about the person’s health.
- the health professional will review the information provided in Part 1 and they ask further questions
- the health practitioner will conduct the assessment, guided by Part 2 of the CHAP and the information about the person’s health provided in Part 1
- the health practitioner will let the person and/or their support team know if the person needs any follow-up care to look after the person’s health and say where to go for that care
- the health practitioner may help complete an action plan covering what’s needed to look after the person’s heath e.g. tests or referrals to other services.
It’s also good to tell the doctor about medical history, or any worries the person or support team have about the person’s health and well-being at the assessment.
Ask the doctor about other services that may be appropriate following the health assessment. This could be Chronic Disease Management services.
Annual health assessments can help improve the health of people with intellectual disability. We have resources with information about annual health assessments for people with intellectual disability.
Adult Comprehensive Health Assessment Program (CHAP) – Annual Health Assessment for People with Intellectual Disability
Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) information on health assessments for people with an intellectual disability
This fact sheet provides information for GPs and clinic staff on MBS jtems that can be used to undertake a health assessment for a person with intellectual disability.
This MBS note provides information on checks that need to be done during the health assessment.