September 2016

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Welcome to the first Health Care Homes e-newsletter

As we begin stage one of the Health Care Homes journey we want to give you all the opportunity to stay up to date and participate in this important health reform.

In this issue:

  • Health Care Homes regions announced
  • The vision for Health Care Homes
  • How can practices start their Health Care Homes journey?
  • Keep engaged – in partnership with the sector
  • Stay informed

Health Care Homes regions announced

Last month, Prime Minister Turnbull and Minister Ley officially announced the selected regions based on Primary Health Network boundaries, for Stage One implementation of Health Care Homes. These include:

    • Perth North
    • Adelaide
    • Country South Australia
    • South Eastern Melbourne
    • Western Sydney
    • Tasmania
    • Nepean Blue Mountains
    • Northern Territory
    • Brisbane North
    • Hunter, New England and Central Coast
    Health care homes announcement by Prime Minister Turnbull and Minister Ley

    The vision for Health Care Homes

    Health Care Homes put patients at the centre of the health care system. They provide patients with a ‘home base’ for the ongoing management of their chronic conditions and help to coordinate the health care services required in partnership with the patient.

    Who can provide a Health Care Home service?

    Health Care Homes will be general practices or Aboriginal Medical Services. Each Health Care Home will be unique to its community and patients, but they will share these key characteristics:


    Voluntary patient enrollment

    with a practice or health care provider that is a clinical ‘home base’ to coordinate and support ongoing individual patient care.

    Personal clinician

    Patients enrolled in a Health Care Home nominate a preferred clinician (usually their GP). This person is aware of their health problems, priorities and wishes.

    High quality and safe care

    Care planning and clinical decisions are evidence-based and respond to individual patient care needs.

    Improved Data sharing

    for patients and their health care team to better measure health outcomes and improve performance.

    Team-based care

    The clinician leads a team that provides care to the patient. The team may include nurses, care coordinators, specialists and allied health workers.

    Coordinated care

    Services are coordinated so patients receive the right care at the right time. Information is shared between different members of the Health Care Home team.

    Flexible service delivery

    This may include in-hours support via telephone, email or video conferencing, as well as open scheduling, expanded hours and e-access where possible and clinically appropriate.


    Get on board - how to become a Health Care Home

    In October 2016, general practices and Aboriginal Medical Services interested in becoming a Health Care Home can apply through an expression of interest process. More information and assistance on this process will be made available on the Department of Health’s website as well as promoted through the selected PHN regions. The expression of interest process is expected to be open until late November 2016 with selected practices opening their doors to Health Care Homes enrolled patients from 1 July 2017.


      Keep engaged - in partnership with the sector

      Several peak organisations have already offered to promote Health Care Homes by delivering updates and key messages through their own networks. We will continue to keep you up to date when new communication tools and resources become available to share.

      To support the introduction of Health Care Homes during stage one, a formal advisory structure has also been established. This comprises an Implementation Advisory Group and four technical working groups.

      The inaugural meeting of the Implementation Advisory Group was held in July. The proposed implementation was discussed, including:

      • Refining the Vision - what success will look like for the patient, the practice, the providers and the health system
      • Considering practice transformation - the support practices and providers will need to facilitate a journey of organisational change
      • Ensuring sustainability - maintaining a view towards national roll out.

      The Guidelines, Education and Training Working Group also met for the first time in July 2016. The group provided advice on the design of resources and mechanisms to support participating practices on their journey to becoming Health Care Homes.

      In August, working groups also came together to discuss data and evaluation requirements and the best way to identify patients for a Health Care Home.

      The data and evaluation working group met and provided expert advice on design of the evaluation. A working group also convened to discuss how to identify people who will benefit most from a Health Care Home model of care. The working group settled on a staged process. Stage one will be done at the practice level and stage two will take place during consultation with the patient.

      Up next - Stakeholder web series

      A calendar of events and interactive web forums is taking shape. This will give everyone the opportunity to keep informed, ask questions and provide feedback on work currently underway on health care homes design. Details will be coming to you via the website and in the October issue of this newsletter.


      Stay informed

      E-newsletters will be published regularly. Further information on the design and implementation of the Health Care Homes is available at

      Health Care Homes - An Australian Government initiative in partnership with primary health care providers, consumers and carers.