Case conferences in general practice: time for a rethink?

Mark F Harris
Med J Aust 2002; 177 (2): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2002.tb04679.x
Published online: 15 July 2002

In 1999, the Commonwealth Government introduced the Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) package, aimed at improving preventive healthcare and coordination of care, particularly for elderly people.1 This package comprised a number of elements, including the introduction of new items on the Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) to enable general practitioners to conduct health assessments (annual assessments of medical health and physical, psychological and social function in elderly patients), care plans (plans to coordinate the care of patients with chronic disease requiring care from multiple providers) and case conferences (see Box 1). Case conferencing was designed to enable GPs to shift from episodic care to providing longer-term care in collaboration with a wider healthcare team. It involves GPs organising or participating in a conference with two or more other healthcare providers. It may be conducted in person or by telephone or videoconferencing. The patient's consent must be obtained, and patients and carers may also be involved.

  • Mark F Harris

  • School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia.



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