Re-thinking integrated care
Integrated healthcare models are considered by many to be the way of the future. But what should they look like and how are they changing? Remedy Healthcare is taking a novel approach.
Traditionally, much of the work in this area of patient care has focused on targeting individuals with specific biomedical risks for a single chronic condition, such as type 2 diabetes or chronic heart failure. The reality though, is that many people live with more than one condition and a one-size program that targets a single chronic condition doesn’t fit all. Integrated care models are fairly common in health systems reforms here and overseas, but evaluations have often revealed variable outcomes. When delivering this type of model in the real world, what works well in one country or community doesn’t always work well for individual contexts in Australia.
The redesigned Remedy Integrated Care reflects current evidence suggesting that complexity in the individual’s context can be better addressed by acknowledging both the biomedical and established risk factors, as well as the patient’s unique needs to stay healthy living in the community. It looks at care planning for people with chronic conditions through a more practical and flexible biopsychosocial lens and complements the modern Australian healthcare landscape.
“This is a significant move towards a fundamentally person-centred approach which looks after the individual and not just the disease,” says Nancy Huang, Chief Medical Officer at Remedy.
“The aim is to deliver care that is planned with the client, working together to understand their abilities, their goals, their family and carers. As the client’s needs evolve, the program adapts and if necessary, care is escalated.”
The redesign was developed in consultation with private health insurers and current users of Remedy Healthcare services, with input from an external Expert Advisory Group.
True integration is about remembering what we are integrating and who it is for. To ensure that the new model is genuinely appropriate and effective for clients, it is based on three key principles:
- Balancing the risk and needs of the client, with plans that are tailored to individual circumstances. For example, two people with type 2 diabetes may need quite different plans, depending on their circumstances and the stage of the disease they are at.
- Multidisciplinary delivery, with physical, mental and social aspects of care included in individual plans.
- Integration across service providers working with GPs, community support and others involved in the care journey.
Importantly, the service redesign is supported by a system redesign that simplifies care coordination and enhances client monitoring and program evaluation. This ensures we are delivering value for money and gives funders full visibility of the value of the program for their members.
By positively changing healthcare delivery, we will be able to help support clients to care for themselves and build their capacity to manage their chronic conditions on a day to day basis.
Nancy adds “In a perfect world – if funding wasn’t a factor – programs like these would enable us to engage with clients over the long term and build lasting relationships. We would see them dip in and dip out of the model as their needs and risks change.”
Please call 1300 224 334 to arrange a time to catch up to discuss how Remedy Healthcare may be able to partner with you to complement your health and wellbeing initiatives.