After-hours medical home visiting services are important for patients and their doctors but we need an ethical and sustainable model that integrates with day-time services.
Doctors and professional medical bodies including the RACGP and AMAregularly express concerns about healthcaremodels that compromise on quality, fragment and duplicate care or fail to use scarce health dollars efficiently.
The Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce has voiced similar concerns in relation to some of the home visiting services. In its recently published interim report the taskforce notes that the growth in claiming of urgent attendances by after-hours medical services isshowing an increase far in excess of population growth.
The taskforce believes the services ofteninterfere with continuity of care by the patient’s regular GP and represent low value care. It is not convinced that the rise of urgent after-hours home visits has had a significant impact on hospital emergency department services.
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