More about Health Care Homes

This page contains additional information for consumers about Health Care Homes.

Page last updated: 18 May 2018

What does it cost to become a Health Care Home patient?

Ask your doctor or practice receptionist about this. Some people don’t have any out-of-pocket expenses when they go to see their doctor; while others are asked to pay a contribution. This will be the same under Health Care Homes.

I don’t want to change my care. I like everything just the way it is.

Joining Health Care Homes is voluntary. You don’t have to become a Health Care Home patient.

If you do sign up for Health Care Homes, you can keep seeing the doctors you know and trust. The benefit of Health Care Homes is that it makes it easier for all the people who look after you — from your doctor to your specialist doctors and others — to coordinate care based on your needs.

Inforgraphic illustrating 'Your Care Team' under the Health Care Homes trial

My doctor and my usual clinic already coordinate my care. Why should I sign up for Health Care Homes?

Doctors and practices already work hard to coordinate care for their patients. The Health Care Home trial formalises this and gives them more flexibility to tailor care and services to each patient.

For example, Health Care Home patients can see their practice nurse, without needing to see their GP for every visit. Some practices will also give their Health Care Home patients better access to appointments with their doctor or someone else from their care team.

I already have a GP management plan, a team care management plan or mental health treatment plan. What will happen to these if I join Health Care Homes?

These plans will form the basis of a new shared care plan. For example, if you have a GP management plan, you will continue to be eligible for up to five allied health services each calendar year.

If I join Health Care Homes, can I see my doctor whenever I want to?

Some Health Care Homes will keep their appointment schedules free at certain times for Health Care Home patients to drop in, or get an appointment ASAP.

But every Health Care Home will be different. Ask your doctor or practice receptionist how this will work in your practice. If after-hours access is important to you, ask about this too.

Another advantage of Health Care Homes is that patients may not always have to physically come in to the practice. Instead, patients might be able to Skype, call or email the practice.

If I am enrolled in a Health Care Home can I see another doctor?

When you are at home, you should always try to go to your Health Care Home. If you are travelling, however, you can see another doctor.

What if I get really sick? Or go to hospital?

If you get really sick, your care team will continue to care for you. They may also work with you to adjust your care plan. If you go to hospital, the care team will follow up with the hospital.

How does Health Care Homes fit in with state-funded isolated travel and accommodation allowance payments?

Being a Health Care Home patient will not affect your eligibility for any state-based isolated travel and accommodation allowance payments.

Can I stop being a Health Care Home patient?

Yes, you can withdraw from your Health Care Home. However, if you are unhappy about any aspect of your care, talk to your care team first. They might be able to help.

If you withdraw from your Health Care Home, you will not be eligible to reapply.

I am Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander. Will my care change under Health Care Homes?

If your local ACCHS or your practice becomes a Health Care Home, ask your doctor or practice receptionist for more information about Health Care Homes.

A brochure for Indigenous consumers is also available on patient stories and brochures.

If you enrol as a Health Care Home patient, then your care team will coordinate your care, from visits to the GP, through to specialist visits, scripts, blood pressure checks, physiotherapy, podiatry and other health services.

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services around Australia will also become Health Care Homes.

Each Health Care Home will also work with the integrated team care (ITC) program arrangements for chronic care; and will coordinate other health services provided by state, territory and local governments or community groups.

Complaints about Health Care Homes

If you are unhappy with any changes to your care because of Health Care Homes, first talk to your care team at your practice or health service. They may be able to resolve the problem.

You can also contact the department on

  • freecall 1800 290 637
  • an online complaints, feedback or enquiries form is available at health.gov.au
  • if you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can use the National Relay Service (1300 555 727) to access these numbers, or visit the National Relay Service online at health.gov.au

More information for consumers is available on patient stories and brochures. For health professionals’ information, go to Health Care Homes for health professionals.