Team Care Arrangements and Flinders QUEST

Recently a QUEST participant contacted us with a query about his gap fees for an Allied Health visit which had occurred through a Team Care Arrangement (TCA). The gentleman believed that because he was participating in Flinders QUEST there would not be any additional charges (or ‘gap fees’) for his health care; including visits to Allied Health providers.

This misunderstanding seems to have occurred because in our trial materials we have stated to participants that there are no extra charges for taking part in Flinders QUEST. By this we meant the enhanced services that Intervention group practices are providing to their participants. We did not mean that that other health services the participant receives will be covered by us.

Can we ask that practices are careful with their Flinders QUEST participants when making referrals to other health care providers to ensure that they understand they may incur out of pocket expenses for these and that these are not a part of the Flinders QUEST enhanced services.

Flinders QUEST in 2019

Welcome to 2019!

During 2019 we will provide blog entries here to keep everyone up to date with progress on the trial and as a forum to address any of your questions or issues.

To briefly recap – Flinders QUEST has 20 participating practices, 92 GPs and 1044 patients. Practices were randomised to Control / Intervention groups and the Intervention practices are currently delivering the enhanced general practice services to their trial participants.

Last week Richard, Heilie and Leigh travelled to Melbourne to meet with members from the RACGP sister trial being conducted in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania (called ‘EQuIP-GP’), and officials from the RACGP and the Department of Health.

Flinders QUEST is leading the pack in terms of practice and participant recruitment and meeting timelines. This is a great result for everyone’s hard work in 2018 and we have proved that SA can implement a nationally significant general practice trial to very high standards.

As many of you would be aware, the Federal Government has extended the Health Care Home trial through to June 2021 and the implications of this for the two RACGP trials was discussed. More work on this needs to occur and we will keep you posted on any updates.

During March members of the QUEST team (Richard, Leigh, Heilie, and Toni) will visit as many of the Intervention practices as we can. We need to hear from the practices as to how we can best help each practice to deliver the enhanced services to trial participants. And everyone is always interested in what everyone else is doing in the trial and so it is a good opportunity for us to share information.

The 6 monthly data collection from all participants in both the Control and Intervention practices will take place in April which is a big logistical job here.

We are expecting Medicare (MBS / PBS) item level data (for participants in the 12 months prior to joining Flinders QUEST) to arrive from Canberra any day now. This will provide baseline insights into two key components in our trial – a measure of continuity of care (what proportion of GP visits people make to their preferred GP) and the distribution of appointment time lengths.

Thank you for your ongoing support of Flinders QUEST. Please get in touch if you have any items you would like us to post about on this blog.