In Consultation

The IPN blog for healthcare professionals.

  • Health Care Homes – What’s Next?

    Dr Ged Foley
    Posted by on 07 Sep 2017

    I would like to thank the doctors and practices that I have met with over the last few months to consider IPNs involvement in the HCH trial; the feedback provided regarding the practical implementation of HCHs has proved invaluable. In this initiative, it’s critical that we ensure we have the right resources, infrastructure and most importantly, doctors who wish to be involved.

    IPN has actively engaged with the DoH on the funding framework to preserve IPN’s business model; this may also be relevant for some other participating practices. Questions regarding tax considerations have also been successfully resolved.

    Whilst we welcome information being published regarding Health Care Homes, we believe that such a significant reform needs to be reported upon with the utmost transparency and accuracy. Sadly, an article in Australian Doctor Newsletter on 15/08/17 regarding the risk stratification tool could lead readers to misunderstand the influence that Sonic Clinical Services, IPN Medical Centres or Precedence Health Care could have on the outcome of this tool. In particular, it suggests that the tool could be configured to IPN’s advantage.

    The Australian HCH risk stratification tool has been selected following wide ranging analysis of various platforms by the DoH, followed by a competitive tender process and thorough review by an expert panel. The HCH risk stratification tool is being developed by the CSIRO to suit the Australian environment. CDMNet, the platform developed by Precedence Healthcare, is the means by which the tool is delivered to a practice’s database.

    There are three steps to the risk stratification process. The first is a predictive risk algorithm that’s run on a practice database and identifies patients eligible for the Health Care Homes trial. As previously stated, this is being developed independently by CSIRO using their world-leading statisticians and healthcare experts. The second part is an assessment, completed by a GP, that assesses the risk tier (and hence the funding) for the patient. This is specified to be the HARP form, which is pre-existing and developed independently. It’s expected that the algorithm and risk-tied assessment will undergo continuous improvement during the HCH trial by all participating practices as well as thorough validation by the DoH.

    The third part is the delivery mechanism that runs this algorithm and captures the data entered into the HARP form. This is the responsibility of Precedence Health Care, and is built upon Precedence’s well-established cdmNet platform.

    SCS is running a separate trial in North Sydney with IPN and non-IPN practices that uses a completely different risk stratification algorithm and technology platform to support its WellNet* Integrated Patient Care initiative. This programme has gone through full ethics approval and is independently funded.

    We are excited by the opportunity to try an innovative new approach to chronic disease management and wish to ensure that our collective experiences and feedback are incorporated into future planning. Our assessment is that the fundamental principles behind the HCH model are sound and point towards contemporary best practice around the world.

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