The Strengthening Medicare GP Grants Program – is your practice eligible?
The Federal Government GP Grants Program (the Program) opened on 21 April 2023, enabling general practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) to apply for a one-off grant of up to $50,000 for investing in innovation, training, equipment, and minor capital works.
Eligible general practices and ACCHOs have until 15 June 2023 to apply through their local Primary Health Network or National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) for a single one-off grant of $25,000, $35,000 or $50,000 (based on practice size and accreditation status. Grants are to be used for expanding patient access and supporting safe and accessible quality primary care.
Grants must be spent before 30 June 2024 and can be invested in any of the following investment streams:
- Enhancing digital health capability to fast-track the benefits of a more connected healthcare system in readiness to meet future standards. This is intended to increase take-up of contemporary digital health solutions including video telehealth, secure data storage and interoperable software that supports seamless, secure communication of patient data.
- Upgrading infection prevention and control arrangements to support the safe, face-to-face assessment of patients with symptoms of potentially infectious respiratory diseases (e.g. COVID, influenza). This is intended to increase the proportion of COVID Positive and other respiratory patients treated in a general practice setting (by increasing practices’ capacity to treat more of these patients).
- Maintaining or achieving accreditation against the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Standards for General Practices (5th edition), under the General Practice Accreditation Scheme to promote quality and safety in general practice. This is intended to increase the number of accredited general practices.
The Program provides the flexibility for applicants to identify investments within one or more of the three investment streams above that best address their practice’s needs. Further information can be found in this fact sheet published by Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care.
Eligibility applies to all general practices and ACCHOs which deliver general practice services and are not owned or operated by state, territory or local government agencies or bodies.
How to apply
Eligible general practices can apply for grants through their local Primary Health Networks (PHNs), and ACCHOs can apply through the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).
Enhancing digital health capability in your general practice or ACCHO
Telstra Health provides a wide range of primary and community digital health solutions designed for enhancing digital health capability. Our solutions and software designed for primary care providers in a general practice setting and community health organisations allow you to quickly and easily store, access, update and manage critical patient data and securely share information with a patient’s other providers. And our clinical and administrative practice software and digital health solutions assist primary and community healthcare organisations to deliver continuity of care that is safe, secure and efficient.
There are many ways to enhance digital health capability in your general practice or ACCHO, for example:
- Secure, cloud-based data storage: MedicalDirector’s Helix is a cloud-based electronic medical record and practice management software which combines practice management and clinical workflows into one seamless, modern online interface. Helix is used by general practices across the country to deliver more than 4 million consultations and provides secure, cloud-based data storage (stored locally in Australia).Through Helix, you can manage all patient interactions securely on the go, or in your practice, and you can benefit from full integration with telehealth, ePrescribing, Real Time Prescription Monitoring, the Australian Immunisation Register and Australia’s most up-to-date drug database AusDI.
- Supporting seamless, secure communication of patient data: ACCHOs can benefit from seamless, secure communication of patient data through Communicare, Australia’s leading digital primary and community care solution for ACCHOs. Communicare supports multi-disciplinary primary health services, allied health providers and community services to deliver quality care across the communities they serve – many of which are based in rural and remote areas and supports patients with complex and diverse care needs.Communicare can be hosted on the Telstra Health hosting solution, which delivers cloud computing via Microsoft Azure Services and uses Virtual Machines, Managed Disks and Databases to provide high availability and scalable performance. The Telstra Health hosting service is supported by Telstra Health’s Service Desk, which has a predicted uptime (time the server stays up and running) of 99.9%*.Used by over 8,000 healthcare professionals and supporting over 3 million medical records, Communicare is a highly customisable system providing a holistic, patient-centric view across the entire patient journey through health services.
- Enhancing virtual care capability: General practices and ACCHOs can benefit from seamless, secure communication of patient data through Telstra Health’s Virtual Health Monitoring which connects patients with healthcare providers, regardless of their location.Virtual Health Monitoring enables clinicians to deliver high-quality, safe, patient-centred care using user-friendly technology, providing more flexibility to patients and clinicians and reducing the burden on local hospitals and clinics. For patients in rural Australia, virtual care can reduce costly and time-consuming trips to a hospital or clinic, helping to improve patient experiences and accessibility to healthcare for patients with mobility issues.
- Professional Services and Training: Whether it’s staff training, purchase of equipment and/or services (including hardware, software and consultant services), cyber security solutions, innovation, minor capital works, or the reimbursement of staff time (including contractor GPs) associated with undertaking investment activities, there are a myriad of ways the Program could support your organisation.
Telstra Health is here to support
At Telstra Health, our core purpose is to improve lives through digitally-enabled care for the communities we support, and this drives us as we strive to realise a connected and improved digital health experience for all, delivering value to patients and providers.
We have established a unique footprint, both locally in Australia and internationally, and we have deep experience and expertise across the entire spectrum of health, aged care and social services. If you are interested in speaking to a member of the Telstra Health team to discuss how our product software, solutions and services can support your organisation in enhancing digital health capabilities as part of the Program, simply contact our Support team.
You can find further information on the Program at: Strengthening Medicare – General Practice Grants Program | Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care.
*As stated by the service-level agreement (SLA) summary for Microsoft Azure services.