Chronic Disease is defined as a condition that will or has lasted for 6 months or more. This includes asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (emphysema, chronic bronchitis), diabetes, heart disease, stroke disease, kidney impairment, cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis, autoimmune disease, depression and other mental health problems and many other conditions.
Chronic disease is common. Many people may have more than one problem.
Management of chronic disease depends on the particular conditions but the overall aim is to:
- Reduce the impact of the condition on an individual to maximise quality of life.
- Prevent or slow progression of the condition where possible.
- Lifestyle education to aid management of the condition.
- Good use of medications to help control the condition.
- Utilise local specialists if required.
- Utilise Allied Health such as physiotherapy, dietician, psychology, exercise physiology, etc.
Did you know that anyone with a chronic medical problem as defined by a condition that will or has lasted for 6 months or more is entitled to a GP Management Plan on Medicare? This is a simple document that lists major medical conditions, the targets we are hoping to achieve, our aims in managing those conditions and an action plan. This document is reviewed and updated every 3 months. A copy of the document is sent to you.
Did you also know that once a GP Management Plan is in place you are entitled to 5 subsidised sessions with an Allied Health professional per calendar year through Medicare? The only stipulation is that 2 or more health professionals are involved in your medical care other than your GP. This is called a Team Care Arrangement (TCA).
Medicare, also, offer an annual review with your local Pharmacist if you are taking a lot of medication. This is an excellent service which makes sure you are taking the right medications at the right time. The Pharmacist can often help give advice regarding possible side effects. A report is sent to your GP which might include advice on possible changes to your medication if appropriate.
At Ocean Family Medicine we aim to produce a GP Management Plan for all patients who qualify. We can, also, provide a TCA and/or medication review for those who need one and qualify.
We have a dedicated nurse who specialises in preparing these care plans and producing the necessary documents as required by Medicare. This service is fully bulk billed.