Home Care Reform
The way in which Home Care is delivered is changing. The Federal Government announced the Home Care Programme – Increasing Consumer Choice initiative at the 2015-16 Budget, which continues to build on the aged care reforms, including the introduction of Consumer Directed Care.
The aim of this reform is to “empower older Australians to receive services from a provider of their choice, increasing competition and leading to improved quality and innovation in service delivery, while reducing regulation for providers.” [p19 Portfolio Budgets Statements 2015-16 – Budget Related Paper no. 1.15A: Social Services Portfolio]
LASA has released a number of resources to help our Members prepare for the Home Care changes, which commenced on 27 February 2017.
LASA Home Care Webinar
Please click on the ‘play’ arrow below to listen to our Home Care Webinar. Please click here to view a slideshow of this webinar:
LASA Home Care Information Series
Please click on the links below to read our Home Care Reforms Information Series – a weekly newsletter being released to our Members every Monday until 13 March 2017:
Home Care Reforms Info Series Issue 1 – My Aged Care National Prioritisation Process
Home Care Reforms Info Series Issue 2 – Home Package Levels
Home Care Reforms Info Series Issue 3– Unspent Home Care Amounts & Exit Amounts
Home Care Reforms Info Series Issue 4 – Top Tips: Regulation Focus
Home Care Reforms Info Series Issue 5 – Frequently Asked Questions
Home Care Reforms Info Series Issue 6 – Summary of the Home Care Changes
Home Care Reforms Info Series Issue 7 – Updated Summary of the Home Care Changes
Home Care Reforms Info Series Issue 8 – Updated Information
Home Care Reforms Info Series Issue 10 – Package upgrades
Overview of Home Care Changes
To enact these changes, Parliament passed the Aged Care Legislation Amendment (Increasing Consumer Choice) Act 2016 in March 2016, which has subsequently resulted in amendments to existing Principles and Determinations as well as the introduction of new Legislative Instruments to provide the detail to support the Act. The four new Legislative Instruments are:
- Aged Care Legislation Amendment (Increasing Consumer Choice) Principles 2016
- Prioritised Home Care Recipients Principles 2016
- Aged Care (Subsidy, Fees and Payments) Amendment (Increasing Consumer Choice) Determination 2016
- Aged Care (Transitional Provision) (Subsidy and Other Measures) Amendment (Increasing Consumer Choice) Determination 2016
The first part of these changes will see the introduction of three major changes to the way home care is currently delivered:
- the Home Care Package funding will follow the consumer.
- one national prioritisation system for people waiting for a Home Care Package (a national queue) supported by a National Package Inventory, which will identify all used and unused packages.
- improvements to the process for organisations to become an Approved Provider.
It is important to note that a number of things will not change:
- Home care subsidy and supplements will continue to be paid to the Approved Provider, not directly to the consumer.
- the number of Home Care Packages nationally available will still be capped.
- there will be no changes to the current fee and income testing arrangements.
Department of Health Resources
The Department of Health has released several resources to help people understand the key changes, including factsheets and webinars. This information is available via the Department’s website. Webinars available on demand via the Department’s website include:
- Increasing Choice in Home Care – Operational Readiness
- Increasing Choice in Home Care – My Aged Care Service Finder functionality
- Increasing Choice in Home Care – Changing Providers and Unspent Funds
The Department has also released 10 factsheets for Providers and two factsheets for Consumers:
|Introduction to Home Care Changes||
|Consumer Directed Care
|Supporting Client Discussions||
|Discussing the Assessment and Approval Process with Clients||
|National Prioritisation Process||
|Changing Home Care Providers||
|Unspent Home Care Amounts||
|Overview of Exit Amounts||
|Exit Amount – Transition Provisions||
|Home Care Package service finder||
Consumer Factsheets Topics Covered
|Consumer Directed Care||
|Changes to Home Care||
Other resources available on the Department’s website include:
- Overview of the legislative framework for Increasing Choice
- Step-by-step example of calculating unspent home care amounts
- New data fields in the Home Care Package service finder from 27 February 2017.