Your doctor may recommend you undertake 45 to 49 years (inclusive) health assessment if you are at risk of developing or have a chronic disease risk factor, the duration of this consultation is dependent on the complexity of the patient’s presentation. The health assessment is for a patient who, in the clinical judgement of the medical practitioner and based on the identification of a specific risk factor, is at risk of developing a chronic disease. A health assessment at this stage of life can assist patients to make the necessary lifestyle changes to prevent or delay the onset of chronic disease.
Chronic disease risk factors
A chronic disease or condition is one that has been, or is likely to be present for at least six months, including (but not limited to) asthma, cancer, cardiovascular illness, diabetes mellitus, a mental health condition, arthritis or a musculoskeletal condition. The decision that a patient is at risk of developing a chronic disease is a clinical judgement made by the GP. However, at least one risk factor must be identified. Risk factors that the GP may consider include, but are not limited to:
- lifestyle risk factors, such as smoking, physical inactivity, poor nutrition or alcohol use;
- biomedical risk factors, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, impaired glucose metabolism or excess weight; and
- a family history of a chronic disease
Components of the health assessment
The health assessment must include:
- information collection, including taking a patient history and undertaking examinations and investigations as clinically required;
- making an overall assessment of the patient’s health, including the patient’s readiness to make lifestyle changes;
- initiating interventions and referrals as clinically indicated;
- providing advice and information; including strategies to achieve lifestyle and behaviour changes;
- keeping a record of the health assessment, and offering the patient a written report about the health assessment, with recommendations about matters covered by the health assessment; and
- offering the patient’s carer (if any, and if the medical practitioner considers it appropriate and the patient agrees) a copy of the report or extracts of the report relevant to the carer.
Restrictions on providing the health assessment
A Medicare rebate is payable once only for each eligible patient. The Medicare rebate is not payable in conjunction with another consultation on the same day, except where it is clinically required (ie. the patient has an acute problem that needs to be managed separately from the assessment), and is not available to admitted patients of a hospital or day-hospital facility.
For Burnett Medical Centre patients on concession cards, the health check is funded by Medicare, for private fee patients, there is a minimal out of pocket expense incurred, the remainder is covered by Medicare. Please discuss fees with our reception staff.