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Financing patient-centred health care homes through value capture

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An innovative approach to funding primary health care involving collaboration between different levels of government and other stakeholders

The Commonwealth Government initiative to establish patient-centred health care homes (PCHCHs), announced in late 2015 following the recommendations of the Primary Health Care Advisory Group,1 represents an ambitious reform to better deliver and coordinate primary care to individuals with chronic conditions.2 PCHCHs, developed originally in the United States,3 involve patients voluntarily enrolling with a primary care provider (a home base such as a general practice or Aboriginal medical service) to receive tailored treatment based on individualised chronic disease management plans. Providers are remunerated through a bundled quarterly payment for each patient enrolled — the aim being to eliminate the fragmented care and duplication that is often associated with the current fee-for-service system.4

At present, $21 million has been set aside over 3 years to fund the first phase of this scheme. Phase one is expected to enrol 200 medical practices and 65 000 patients,2 which works out to be around $100 per annum per patient. Although this sum seems modest, given that about half of all Australians have a chronic disease and…