Australian Journal of Primary Health Australian Journal of Primary Health Society
The issues influencing community health services and primary health care
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Utilisation of Medicare-funded schemes for people with cardiovascular disease

Julie Redfern A B G , Karice Hyun A B , Emily Atkins A B , Clara Chow A B C , Tom Briffa D , Bindu Patel A B , Nick Zwar E , Tim Usherwood A B F , Qiang Li A , Anushka Patel A and David Peiris A B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A The George Institute for Global Health, UNSW Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.

B Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

C Cardiology Department, Westmead Hospital, NSW 2145, Australia.

D School of Population Health, University of Western Australia, WA 6009, Australia.

E School of Medicine, University of Wollongong NSW 2522, Australia.

F Department of General Practice, Sydney Medical School Westmead, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

G Corresponding author. Email: jredfern@georgeinstitute.org.au

Australian Journal of Primary Health 23(5) 482-488 https://doi.org/10.1071/PY16166
Submitted: 21 December 2016  Accepted: 30 May 2017   Published: 27 July 2017

Abstract

The aim of this study is to investigate the utilisation of Medicare Benefit Scheme items for chronic disease in the management of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in general practice and to compare characteristics of CVD patients with and without a General Practice Management Plan (GPMP). Subgroup analysis of Treatment of Cardiovascular Risk using Electronic Decision Support (TORPEDO) baseline data was collected in a cohort comprising 6123 patients with CVD. The mean age (s.d.) was 71 (±13) years, 55% were male, 64% had a recorded diagnosis of coronary heart disease, 31% also had a diagnosis of diabetes and the mean number of general practice (GP) visits (s.d.) was 11 (±9) in 12 months. A total of 1955/6123 (32%) received a GPMP in the 12 months before data extraction; 1% received a Mental Health Plan. Factors associated with greater likelihood of receiving a GPMP were: younger age, had a diagnosis of diabetes, BMI > 30 kg m–2, prescription of blood pressure-lowering therapy and more than ten general practice visits. Enhancing utilisation of existing schemes could augment systematic follow up and support of patients with CVD.


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