The Department of Health has contracted Health Policy Analysis (HPA) to undertake an evaluation of the Health Care Homes program. HPA are working with experts from the University of NSW and the University of Technology to conduct the evaluation.
The evaluation will assess the extent to which Health Care Homes is achieving its objectives and inform future directions for Health Care Homes in Australia, including:
- identifying changes in the way participating practices organise and deliver health care to their patients
- estimating early impacts of the Health Care Home model on patient outcomes and,
- assessing the suitability of the Health Care Home model for national rollout.
The evaluation is focused on identifying the changes in structure and processes that have occurred following the rollout of Health Care Homes. It will seek to measure short-term outcomes and provide preliminary evidence concerning the medium to longer-term outcomes.
The key evaluation questions are:
- How was the Health Care Homes model implemented and what were the barriers and enablers?
- How does the Health Care Homes model change the way practices approach chronic disease management?
- Do patients enrolled in Health Care Home experience better quality care?
- What are the financial effects of the Health Care Home model on governments, providers and individuals?
The evaluation will collect quantitative and qualitative data from participating practices and patients through:
- automated extracts of de-identified data from practice clinical software, including:
- information on patient demographics December 2018
- clinical encounters
- chronic illnesses
- pathology and imaging tests
- risk factors (smoking/alcohol)
- practice surveys and practice staff surveys
- practice staff face-to-face interviews
- patient surveys, interviews and focus groups
The evaluation will also use national administrative data sets (e.g. MBS, PBS, emergency department attendances and hospitalisation) to compare the use of health services for patients enrolled in the Health Care Home program with a matched comparison group receiving usual care.
Evaluation results and lessons learned will be used to make refinements to the Health Care Home model and help inform any future national roll out.
You can find more information on the Health Care Homes Evaluation website.