Health Care Homes: Reform of the Primary Health Care System

This page contains information on the Reform of the Primary Health Care System: Health Care Homes.

Page last updated: 02 March 2017

Applications now closed.

Applications for stage one of Health Care Homes have now closed. Successful general practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) will be notified of their selection for stage one in March 2017.


Health Care Homes' resources

Booklets

PDF version: Health Care Homes FAQ booklet (PDF 201 KB)
Word version: Health Care Homes FAQ booklet (Word 183 KB)

PDF version: Health Care Homes information booklet (PDF 533 KB)
Word version: Health Care Homes information booklet (Word 126 KB)

QandA

PDF version: Health Care Homes and the quadruple aim (PDF 198 KB)
Word version: Health Care Homes and the quadruple aim (Word 26 KB)

Factsheets

PDF version: Payment Information: factsheet (PDF 281 KB)
Word version: Payment information: factsheet (Word 208 KB)

PDF version: Patient Eligibility: factsheet (PDF 328 KB)
Word version: Patient Eligibility: factsheet (Word 254 KB)

PDF version: Stage One Modelling: factsheet (PDF 104 KB)
Word version: Stage One Modelling: factsheet (Word 152 KB)

For information on the Becoming a Health Care Home webinar, and upcoming webinars, refer to the Health Care Homes webinar page. The Australian Association of Practice Management (AAPM) also has a webinar on payment management on the AAPM website.

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On 31 March 2016 the Government announced its plan to introduce Stage one of a Health Care Home model to improve care for patients with chronic and complex conditions. Under this model, eligible patients will voluntarily enrol with a participating medical practice known as their Health Care Home. This practice will provide a patient with a ‘home base’ for the ongoing coordination, management and support of their conditions.

This represents the Government’s response to the final report of the Primary Health Care Advisory Group.

This website will be regularly updated as the implementation of Health Care Homes progresses.

What is a Health Care Home?
Who will benefit?
What funding has the Government committed?
Governance Structure
What regions have been selected?
Which health care providers can offer Health Care Home services?
When will it happen?
Timeline for Health Care Home rollout
Frequently Asked Questions
Primary Health Care Advisory Group

Latest updates

E-newsletters for Health Care Homes

2017 E-newsletters

2016 E-newsletters

Subscribe: Join our email list to receive regular e-newsletters about Health Care Homes by clicking the subscribe button.

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Fact Sheets

PDF version: Fact Sheet: Health Care Homes (August 2016) (PDF 197 KB)
Word version: Fact Sheet: Health Care Homes (August 2016) (Word 197 KB)

What is a Health Care Home?

Health Care Homes are a ‘home base’ that will coordinate the comprehensive care that patients with chronic and complex conditions need on an ongoing basis.

General practices and Aboriginal Medical Services can serve as Health Care Homes.

Patients who have been assessed as eligible and likely to benefit from this model will be offered the opportunity to voluntarily ‘enrol’ with a participating Health Care Home.

A tailored care plan will be developed with the patient and implemented by a team of health care providers. This will involve identifying the best local providers to meet each patient’s needs, coordinating care with these providers, and putting in place strategies to better manage their health conditions and improve their quality of life.

Care will be integrated across primary and acute care as required.

Health Care Homes will support enrolled patients and their carers to be active partners in their care. This will involve giving patients the knowledge, skills and support they need to make decisions about their health and keep healthy.

To enable this new model of care, payments for patients enrolled in Health Care Homes will change.

Health Care Homes will be paid regular periodic payments by the Government to provide care related to a patient’s chronic and complex condition. This will enable Health Care Homes to be flexible and innovative in how they deliver care to enrolled patients.

Health Care Homes available services: private health insurers, allied health providers, community Agencies, Hospital/ local health district, primary health networks

Who will benefit?

Health Care Home services will be available to patients assessed as those that would benefit most from the new model, with services specifically aimed at the one in five Australians with multiple chronic and complex conditions.

The Health Care Home model will initially be rolled out in selected geographical regions, based on Primary Health Network boundaries, across the country. Around 200 medical practices or Aboriginal Medical Service's in these regions will become Health Care Homes and together they will enrol up to 65,000 patients with chronic and complex health conditions who have been assessed as eligible.

What funding has the Government committed?

The Health Care Home implementation will improve the targeting and alignment of existing health care resources. The Government has announced that $21.3 million will be allocated to develop the infrastructure needed to implement and evaluate the Health Care Home model. Additionally, $93 million in MBS funding is being redirected for clinical service delivery. A core element of this investment is to help businesses, health providers and consumers transition to the new model of care.

Governance structure

To support the introduction of the Health Care Home model during Stage 1, a two tiered governance structure consisting of an overarching Implementation Advisory Group (IAG) and four specialised working groups, has been established.

The role of the IAG is to work collaboratively with the Department to provide advice on issues relevant to the design, implementation and evaluation of the Health Care Home model. The IAG will be supported by time limited working groups, tasked with guiding the development of core elements underpinning the rollout of Stage 1 Health Care Homes, including payment mechanism, patient identification, guidelines and training, and evaluation.

Terms of Reference - Health Care Homes Implementation Advisory Group
Membership of the IAG and working groups

What regions have been selected?

Health Care Homes will initially be implemented in ten 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
  • Nepean Blue Mountains PHN
  • Northern Territory PHN
  • Tasmania PHN

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

Which health care providers can offer Health Care Home services?

General practices and Aboriginal Medical Services are eligible to become Health Care Homes.

An Expression of Interest process will occur in late 2016, asking practices in the stage 1 regions to apply to become a Health Care Home. Further detail on eligibility, timeframes and training will be provided ahead of that time.

When will it happen?

Health Care Home services will be delivered in implementation sites from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2019.

Evaluation of Health Care Homes in these regions will inform refinement of the new model of care and its suitability for broader rollout.

Timeline for Health Care Home rollout

Year Objective
2015-16 and 2016-17
  • Selection of regions for rollout
  • Active engagement of the health sector, consumers and care providers in implementation design
  • Provide training and support to providers and consumers on the new model of care
2017-18 and 2018-19
  • Patient enrolment begins – up to 65,000 patients
  • Delivery of services begin (1 July 2017)
  • Ongoing evaluation and refinement of Health Care Homes

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to some frequently asked questions regarding the Health Care Home model and its implementation.

Primary Health Care Advisory Group

The establishment of Health Care Homes was a core recommendation of the Primary Health Care Advisory Group which was established by Minister Ley in 2015 to develop options to improve care and health outcomes for people with complex and chronic conditions. The Advisory Group provided its final report to Government in December 2015. A copy of the Advisory Group’s report is available on the Health website.

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