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A word from our CEO: Dianne Kitcher

The tight Federal election result has proven that health is a key issue for voters and that issues of access, equity and sustainability must be addressed. 
With a number of review processes currently underway across the sector, the Coalition Government must ensure its health system reforms are innovative, patient-centred, sustainable, adequately funded, evidence-based and data-informed.

This will be critical, with new research showing that almost two thirds of Australian adults are overweight or obese, and half have a chronic disease, while one child in four is ranked as overweight or obese.

In fact, Australia’s Health Tracker, released recently by the Australian Health Policy Collaboration (AHPC) at Victoria University, shows 91.5 per cent of the nation’s teenagers do not meet physical activity recommendations, while teen boys consume a staggering 23 teaspoons of sugar a day, and 44.5 per cent of adults do not exercise enough.

The prevalence of high blood pressure is rising, as is diabetes and the nation’s suicide rate. Read now >

As the South Eastern NSW PHN, COORDINARE is committed to working in collaboration with local health providers towards a more coordinated regional health system which provides exceptional care, promote healthy choices and supports resilient communities.

We are currently finalising our Baseline Needs Assessment and hope to share this with you shortly.

We are also in the process of developing a full regional population health profile, as well as regional strategies for each of our priority areas including increased childhood immunisations, potentially preventable hospitalisations, increased cancer screening and mental health. These strategies will provide a vehicle for more in-depth engagement with stakeholders, including consumers, with a focus on local solutions. Stay tuned for more details!

Meanwhile, I am pleased to confirm COORDINARE has extended contracts on a number of mental health programs across the region until 30 June 2017.  These include:

  • Psychological therapies (formerly known as Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS))
  • Hard to reach – rural (formerly known as Mental Health Services in Rural and Remote Australia (MHSRRA))
  • Monaro Family Support Services
  • Koori Kids program in Nowra
  • Mental health nursing in Goulburn
  • Generalist counselling and group work in the Far South Coast

From 1 July 2016, COORDINARE has also commenced contracts with a number of organisations for Mental Health Nursing Services (formerly known as Mental Health Incentive Program (MHNIP)) and the headspace centres in the region (Wollongong, Nowra and Queanbeyan).

This means that existing mental health programs will continue as usual, so referral pathways will remain unchanged.


Dianne Kitcher

Less than two weeks left for practices to meet new eHealth incentive requirements 

With 31 July quickly approaching, practices are reminded that they must contribute shared health summaries to the My Health Record system for their patients, in order to be eligible for the August 2016 PIP payment.

A minimum upload of shared health summaries for 0.5% of the practice's standardised whole patient equivalent (SWPE) is required for the reference period May-July.

A number of resources are now available to help your practice keep track of the number of shared health summaries uploaded:

Did you know?

More than 230 organisations from across South Eastern NSW, including 144 general practices, are now registered with My Health Record. As at 31 May, there was also more than 70,000 consumers registered, and 708 shared health summaries uploaded.

Start the My Health Record conversation with your patients

You might already have a tried and trusted line to encourage your patients to understand the benefits of a My Health Record, but if you are wondering how to start the conversation, these notes (recorded at a recent APNA workshop) might be useful in your practice:

How do you raise with a patient whether or not they would like to sign up for a My Health Record?
You could simply ask: "Would you like to have a My Health Record? This means that another doctor or hospital would be able to see a summary of your health care that your GP has uploaded or provided” – if they say ‘no’ move on, don’t try to push the issue.
What if a patient asks why they need a My Health Record?
Explain it is their choice to make: "It means that important information would be available to all your health providers in a secure format. If you would like to register for a My Health Record you can do that here at the practice or you can register online later on.” 
What if a patient stresses that they do not want the government ‘knowing their information'?
Explain to the patient that they can choose to upload their Medicare and prescribing information (from now or from two years past), which is information that the government already knows.

Showcasing enhanced nurse clinics: Bega Valley Medical Practice

As reported in the last edition of 'IN THE LOOP', two general practices from South Eastern NSW were successful in applying for a grant from Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) to enhance the services and support they provide. This edition we feature one of those practices - Bega Valley Medical Practice (BVMP).