This paper explores some of the lessons of the coordinated care trials in Australia in the context of managed care in America and asks how do we best manage our finite health care dollars for the most equitable and effective outcomes for whole populations? The COAG trial in Australia tested a more structured process for managing the care of patients with chronic illness and postulated that currently fragmented health system funding could be pooled around individual patient need, and managed for improved economic outcomes and patient wellbeing. There is little doubt, following this initiative and much work in other countries, that as health care costs rise, for a range of reasons, improvements are needed in the management of our resources if we are to control rising health care costs. We also know that chronic illness, much of which is preventable and avoidable, is the major component in the rising health care cost equation and a factor likely to consume around 75% of our health dollars in the future. Much chronic illness can be prevented through social and population health strategies and we know that even if chronic illness can?t be prevented, it can be managed better through community-based chronic illness management programs. These programs rely on information, education, patient lifestyle and behaviour change, and on patients developing improved self-management skills. But, what is the best way to manage population health in Australia and ensure equity and fairness in the health care market as we evolve new approaches, especially to the management of chronic illness?
Field of Research
111717 Primary Health Care
Socio Economic Objective
920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
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