A new model to encourage general practitioners to treat aged care residents will provide doctors $300 a year for each eligible patient while the practice gets another $130.
The General Practice in Aged Care Incentive is a blended-funding package that aims to support regular health assessments, care plans and regular GP visits for Australia’s 200,000-plus aged care residents.
It was announced by Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler last week during a keynote address to CEDA on building a stronger Medicare – including the introduction of voluntary patient registration model MyMedicare.
The package – which had been worked through with stakeholders – includes loadings for rural and remote practices, and its development, said Mr Butler.
“Practices registered for MyMedicare will be paid incentives to provide their registered patients in aged care with regular visits and care planning,” Mr Butler said.
“The incentives include $300 per patient, per year to be paid quarterly to the GP him or herself, and $130 per patient, per year to be paid quarterly to the practice. Rural loadings will apply, with payments increasing in line with the remoteness of the community.”
The funding package sits on top of the existing fee-for-service and all existing Medicare rebates will continue to be paid as well.
Since registration opened for MyMedicare on 1 October, nearly 370,000 patients have registered, along with more than 5,000 general practices.
The Department of Health and Aged Care is calling on practices who treat aged care residents to sign them up.
“Practices that … provide care to people in residential aged care are encouraged to register those patients in MyMedicare as priority cohorts over the next three months,” according to the department.