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Enhanced Capitation recognises that general practice teams are well placed to understand the needs of their patient population and community. It provides general practice with flexibility around how funding is used to encourage practice staff to be innovative in caring for patients who have complex health and/or social needs.

Among other things, Enhanced Capitation can be used to fund additional support roles within the practice, to engage supporting services such as social care on behalf of a patient, provide extended consultations or home visits or running clinics that proactively engage patients with complex conditions.

The expectation is that Enhanced Capitation is used in a way that enhances the quality and coordination of care provided to patients with complex health and/or social needs.


In September 2016, the way Care Plus funds were distributed to general practice teams changed. The aim was to reduce administration and ensure general practice teams had the flexibility to provide services that better matched the needs of their patients with complex health and/or social needs.

Under the new scheme, Enhanced Capitation, general practice teams were encouraged to come up with innovative ways to apply the funding, with the expectation being that it enhanced the quality and coordination of care provided to their patients with complex needs.

In the three years to 30 September 2019 the great work of general practice teams has resulted in 3,733 people being transferred from High User Health Cards to receiving support through Enhanced Capitation. This has resulted in additional funds of $3,397,605 being distributed to support general practice to care for their patients with complex needs  

Feedback from general practice is that this change has been positive. Here's what practices have told us:

Removing the cost has provided patients requiring frequent monitoring to be correctly treated -  results in better health outcomes for the patient and greater satisfaction for clinicians.”

“The flexibility is great allows us to think outside the normal scope of how we use this funding.”


Latest News

Enhanced Capitation Survey July 2020 – summary results

09 Apr, 2021 | Return|

The second Enhanced Capitation (EC) survey was sent to general practice teams during July of last year. The purpose of the survey was to determine how the EC funding is being used; share learnings and innovative approaches to using the EC funds; and understand the interaction between EC and other enablers or new initiatives within general practice. 

Survey themes:

  • Most practices are continuing to use the EC funding to offer targeted patients with free or discounted consultations. However, there has been a significant increase in the use of this funding for other purposes; including employing additional staff, such as Health Care Assistants and Social Workers, funding patients to access other services and multi-disciplinary meetings.
  • This change in the use of the EC funds has been supported by the introduction of the reduced cost of general practice visits for holders of Community Services Cards in December 2018.
  • Thirteen practices identified they have been using their EC funding to support people experiencing financial hardship through COVID-19 and a further nine assisting patients with payment for care provided virtually.
  • Practices were asked to estimate what percentage of EC funds were allocated to the following four categories - on average 65% was allocated directly to individual patients, 16% to establish an additional service or capability within the general practice team, 7% to increase the integration or coordination of services provided, and 12% to other services. Multiple examples were provided in the free text of practices implementing a specific activity or initiative funded from EC.
  • Fifty practices indicated they are planning to implement a new activity or initiative in the coming year.

You can read the full survey, which summarises the responses to each question and highlights the key themes identified, here.

Using the survey feedback provided the Enhanced Capitation Work Group has identified ways to fine tune the way Enhanced Capitation is implemented, and ways to better support general practice. This includes sharing further case studies from across the region, showcasing how different practices are using the funds, and updating the tool kit of resources. In the interim, a guide to the use of Enhanced Capitation funds can be viewed here.

Some practices also highlighted that it can be a challenge to easily identify their complex needs patients, so the Work Group is looking into how it can assist with this. 

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2017 Enhanced Capitation survey results

2017 Enhanced Capitation survey results

Recently general practices were asked how they were using their Enhanced Capitation funds. All 116 g...

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Useful resources

Toolkit - identifying patients

Support for identifying eligible patients and freeing up time to support them.

Toolkit - allocating funds

How EC funds can be used to support patients with complex needs.

Case study series

Rakaia Medical Centre shares how the practice is using Enhanced Capitation.

Case study series

Riccarton Clinic shares how the practice is using Enhanced Capitation.

Case study series

Travis Medical Centre talks about integrating health services.