Within Health Care Homes (HCH’s) patients are invited to enrol with a nominated clinician within their practice to co-ordinate all their chronic disease management , face-to-face or virtual, within and outside the practice.
Practices are to receive a single monthly ‘bundled’ payment, based on the patient’s complexity.
Twenty one PHNs will make HCH-related innovation a priority for their practice development programs. Last November, the Department of Health released HCH EOI documentation including an overview of the COAG-approved model, the process to be involved, and further details of the bundling quantum.
Two hundred practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services around Australia will soon begin trialling Health Care Homes. Twenty practices will begin Health Care Home services on 1 October 2017. The other 180 will begin on 1 December 2017.
The intention of the HCH trial is to formalise many of the elements of the HCH model that we found in practices in Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Those practices will help clarify the business and operational requirements to make HCH’s a reality and help shape the future for their colleagues.
COAG has identified HCH as a central component for our national health reforms, and integral to improved care for the 10% Australians who currently consume 45% of health resources. Refining the model for broader implementation in the Australian health care context is therefore vitally important.
International experience suggests that clinician leadership will be critical for success, at both national and practice level. Managing change in care delivery, business and practice innovation, and workforce training is challenging – but pivotal to making our practices and system function better for the most-needy Australians.
Finally engagement in digital transformation is essential: to inform and activate our patients, to develop and share personalised care plans with team members, and to collect information to underpin quality improvement and resource allocation, from regional and national perspectives.