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Revised chronic disease management programme agreed

A revised chronic disease management programme in general practice has been agreed by the IMO, HSE and Department of Health in response to Covid-19.

The new programme will include teleconsultations and in surgery visits “at the GP discretion and dependent on patient clinical requirements”.

It will be open to all medical card and GP visit card patients over the age of 70 and includes an extension of the deadline relating to the nursing support.

Commencing on 1 July, the programme will last until the end of the year, at which point the programme will revert to the original chronic disease management agreement.

Details of the changes were issued to IMO members by Dr Denis McCauley, Chair IMO GP Committee, on 12 June.

An extension to GP practice and out of hours (OOH) supports due to expire in June was also announced by the IMO.

The ‘in surgery’ practice supports will run from Monday 15 June to Monday 10 August, when they will be reviewed. The support for ‘in surgery’ extended hours has ceased.

The agreement includes a €30 fee for Covid-19 telephone triage for public and private patients, a €75 respiratory assessment fee for medical card and GP visit card patients and a €25 fee for “non-Covid teleconsultations/triage” for medical and GP visit card patients.

The €25 fee is payable where a remote consultation occurs for a non-Covid 19 health issue to establish whether or not a patient is required to attend the practice premises.

The OOH supports will continue for a further three months ending 31 August and includes Covid-19 testing referrals will occur in OOH on Saturdays and Sundays only. There will be no STC for this activity.

Under the revised OOH agreement, the 75 per cent of OOH income from the corresponding period in 2019 and no claims for any STCs deal will continue.

Dr McCauley informed members  that an OOH GP may order a Covid-19 test using Healthlink and must include the details of the patient’s own GP

“The results will be advised to the patient and the patient’s own GP through the IT system and any follow-up by the patient’s own GP will happen in line with current arrangements.

“Where the patient does not have a registered GP,  the test result will default to the out of hours system for the purpose of recording the test result.  In all cases the patient will be notified by the testing system as to the result of the test and in the case of a positive result the patient will be contacted by public health for follow up for contact tracing in line with the agreed process.”

Dr McCauley said the arrangements “should be viewed as a total package of supports for GPs across all settings and while it is noted there are some limited additional obligations within the out of hours we are confident that the overall package will be welcomed by GPs and ensure the continued provision of GP services to patients”.

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