Utilisation of Medicare-funded schemes for people with cardiovascular disease
The aim of this study is to investigate the utilisation of Medicare Benefit Scheme items for chronic disease in the management of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in general practice and to compare characteristics of CVD patients with and without a General Practice Management Plan (GPMP). Subgroup analysis of Treatment of Cardiovascular Risk using Electronic Decision Support (TORPEDO) baseline data was collected in a cohort comprising 6123 patients with CVD. The mean age (s.d.) was 71 (±13) years, 55% were male, 64% had a recorded diagnosis of coronary heart disease, 31% also had a diagnosis of diabetes and the mean number of general practice (GP) visits (s.d.) was 11 (±9) in 12 months. A total of 1955/6123 (32%) received a GPMP in the 12 months before data extraction; 1% received a Mental Health Plan. Factors associated with greater likelihood of receiving a GPMP were: younger age, had a diagnosis of diabetes, BMI > 30kgm-2, prescription of blood pressure-lowering therapy and more than ten general practice visits. Enhancing utilisation of existing schemes could augment systematic follow up and support of patients with CVD.