Background: Government-subsidised general practice management plans (GPMPs) facilitate chronic disease management; however, impact on cardiovascular disease (CVD) is unknown. We aimed to determine utilisation and impact of GPMPs for people with or at elevated risk of CVD.
Methods: Secondary analysis of baseline data from the CONNECT randomised controlled trial linked to Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) claims. Multivariate regression examining the association of GPMP receipt and review with: (1) ≥ 1 MBS-subsidised allied health visit in the previous 24 months; (2) adherence to dual cardioprotective medication (≥ 80% of days covered with a dispensed PBS prescription); and (3) meeting recommended LDL-cholesterol and blood pressure (BP) targets concurrently.
Results: Overall, 905 trial participants from 24 primary health care services consented to data linkage. Participants with a GPMP (46.6%, 422/905) were older (69.4 vs 66.0 years), had lower education (32.3% vs 24.7% high school or lower), lower household income (27.5% vs 17.0% in lowest bracket), and more comorbidities, particularly diabetes (42.2% vs 17.6%) compared to those without a GPMP. After adjustment, a GPMP was strongly associated with allied health visits (odds ratio (OR) 14.80, 95% CI: 9.08–24.11) but not higher medication adherence rates (OR 0.82, 95% CI: 0.52–1.29) nor meeting combined LDL and BP targets (OR 1.31, 95% CI: 0.72–2.38). Minor differences in significant covariates were noted in models using GPMP review versus GPMP initiation.
Conclusions: In people with or at elevated risk of CVD, GPMPs are under-utilised overall. They are targeting high-needs populations and facilitate allied health access, but are not associated with improved CVD risk management, which represents an opportunity for enhancing their value in supporting guideline-recommended care.