New model of care could save lives from CVD

A new model of care to treat cardiovascular disease (CVD) will be launched in Parliament House introducing the test, treat, and track model of care.

The CVD Impact Report launched on 29 February 2024 in federal parliament provides how the Federal Government’s investment of $364 million over five years could save more than 4,000 lives and return $3 billion in healthcare savings to the economy through the establishment of the novel test, treat, track model.

The new CVD Impact Report has been designed to optimise cholesterol and CVD management in Australia through better and more timely CVD testing and screening (and therefore diagnosis), earlier access to CVD treatments, as well as improved access to digital tools, such as text message prompts, supporting the management and follow-up care of CVD.

At the heart of this model is a push to empower Australians to learn more about their individual risk of CVD, and in doing so, take proactive steps to reducing their risk factors. Uniquely, the new model proposes harnessing the existing skillsets of pharmacists and nurse practitioners to deliver heart health testing in community settings. Such a multidisciplinary approach to care is expected to relieve the latent and growing pressure on GPs, who are vastly outnumbered and under-resourced in regional and rural areas.

According to Dr Karam Kostner, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Queensland and Director of Cardiology at Mater Hospital, Brisbane, the need for a new approach to CVD prevention, treatment and management has never been more urgent.

“I have seen first-hand the impact of cardiovascular disease. Traditional CVD models of care have focused heavily on reducing CVD risk factors, including blood pressure and better management of cholesterol levels. And whilst these remain critical, we also urgently need a new way of tackling the disease, with an emphasis on earlier diagnosis and therefore intervention. The model of care – test, treat, track- launched in Canberra today, is a step in the right direction,” said Dr Kostner.

“The impact of CVD in Australia is devastating, claiming one life every 12 minutes with the impact felt the greatest in regional and rural Australia. Novartis is committed to improving the lives of those impacted by CVD and working with all stakeholders across the ecosystem, including the federal and state level government partners, hospitals, patients and other public and private parties to help make the biggest impact for Australian CVD patients and their families.”

The report was commissioned by Nocartis and developed by Australian health economists from HTAnalysts. The benefit of the new model of care, according to Matt Zeller, Country President of Novartis Australia and New Zealand, is that it is entirely scalable and adaptable.

“At the heart of the CVD Impact Report is diagnosing CVD earlier in community by utilising the existing expertise of community pharmacists, who are well-placed to lead CVD testing, particularly in regional and rural Australia where access to primary care is more of a challenge. Increased community-based CVD testing alone will result in $17.4 million savings for those impacted by CVD. Such savings would truly make a positive impact on many Australian families.” said Mr Zeller.



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