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Centre of Research Excellence in the Finance and Economics of Primary Care

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There has been little in-depth study of the economics of primary care. The effect of single payment mechanisms on utilisation and costs is well known, and as a result there is increasing interest, in Australia as in other countries, in the use of blended payment systems, to improve quality and efficiency. But as yet little is known about how to set levels of payments, and the subsequent impact on utilisation, costs, quality, health outcomes, and overall health system performance. This research will address these gaps, studying Australian primary care, and build a base of evidence to inform policy development. While the primary end-users of this research are policy makers, our research program will also investigate how consumers and patients perceive quality of primary care; the results will be incorporated into our assessments of quality and performance. In addition, we will provide evidence for the development of `Health Communities┬┐ reports; and develop and disseminate a users┬┐ guide to facilitate understanding of quality and choice of providers by consumers.